Monday, October 17, 2011

A years worth of updates!

Wow. I can't believe how I've neglected our blog! So many things have happened over the past year & a half! I'll start with the most important..everyone in our immediate family is well! We are blessed! Our grandchildren are growing up strong & smart, we love them all & are very proud of them. It's amazing to see their indivivuality & personalities develop as they grow.
Tuff and I have not spent much time at Kidders cabin lately, but we're going to change that! We are making our plans to head north in the next week or so. It will be a long awaited & well deserved break! I have left my managers position at Lowe's after 3 years. It was a great company to work for, but after having hip replacement surgery last November, I realized that it was just to physically draining. What to do next? Well, Tuff and I wanted to try our hand at selling fresh local produce, and started up "Kidders Fresh Produce". (you can find us on facebook). We studied & researched & took a chunk of our savings & the rest of the summer to set up & sell tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, and everything else under the sun, ending this month with mums, pumpkins, gourds, squash, etc...we did well! We worked 11 hour days and every weekend, but were satisfied with the results. We met many new friends and earned a regular customer base. We now know that we can do this, and do it well!
Unfortunately, the people we were in a lot rental agreement with decided that they wanted to raise our lot rent an ADDITIONAL $900.00. A month! Wow. Of course, we cannot afford this. Maybe this was a sign that we could not trust these people, and to get away, FAST! But, we have several months to locate another spot if we decide to continue. It was a great learning experience, and mostly fun! We will take down our stand today and head north soon!! Can't wait! Alys.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mushroom Hunting 2010!

Tuff, Alys, Missy, Jessica & Kesse spent some time at Kidders Cabin Morel hunting! Just look at this guy we met out in the woods with his huge Morel! We met up with Pete & Rachel one day and hunted with them, and hunted several days in the forest in Yuma. We found enough for it to be fun, but the weather had been finicky and the mushroom season wasn't good this year. We still had lots of fun! Here are some of Tuffs pics, and here are some of Alys'..a great time was had by all!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Picnic

We had a picnic at Otis Park on Mt. Zion road. Our intention was to find lots of MORELS, but we got skunked! We did talk to a couple that came out of the woods with 20-30 small greys, but we didn't have any luck. We did have a great time visiting, the kids had a blast, and the food was good! Next time we will have better luck with the 'shrooms! Here are some photos of our day..

Ice Skating on Kidders Pond

Every year when the pond freezes safely enough Tuff takes the snowblower down & cleans it off for anyone who wants to come over & go ice skating...this weekend Kesse, Buddy & Lucky Sammy decided to give it a try..Sammy even decided to go for a ride on the sled...well..for a few seconds, anyway! Here are the photos!

Halloween party 2009!

Once again our annual halloween & pumpkin carving party was a huge success! We had great weather,
wonderful family, and a fun hay ride. Kesse, Lauren and Drew did a great job putting together the "Haunted Trail"! Here are some~~scarey~~photos!

Kidders Cabin, Autumn 2009

We had a great time at the cabin during my favorite time of the year! Scott, Micki, Grace, and Mickis parents Clay and Barbara joined us. We had fabulous weather, scenic walks, and cozy campfires! We also had a great time exploring Lake Michigan at Ludington. Click here for some colorful photos!

Arbors for sale!

Here is one of my hobbies: Building copper arbors! I've built a few for myself that I have here
at home, and I built and donated one to the Michiana Master Gardeners for their auction to raise
funds. Here are some photos of the last one I built.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring has arrived!

I can't believe I haven't posted since last October!! I'm going to start posting here again soon, I promise! We've had a great year, everyone in the family is staying healthy, and our grandchildren are growing too fast! It seems like time just passes too fast lately. Tuff and I are getting ready to go mushroom hunting with our family got pretty cold last night, but the reports are out that they're popping up! If they're up, we'll find them. I'll post our pictures from today later and keep our blog updated more often! Love you all, see you soon! ~Alys~

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We were lucky to have a bluebird couple build their nest inside a decorative watering can under the shelter of our barn porch. The female laid 5 eggs, and both the male and female took turns feeding the babies. Here are the photos showing the complete cycle of a bluebird being born...pretty amazing stuff!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kayaking the Pere Marquette!

What can be more fun than 37 friends Kayaking the Pere Marquette River?
the Kidders, Moyers, and the Kruis family got together for a day on the Pere Marquette. It was a perfect day, lot's of fun, and beautiful scenery. The Pere Marquette and the Pine River are both national scenic rivers in Michigan, and both are right in the area of Kidders Cabin, so Tuff and I get to kayak them alot. It was a blast to do it with so many friends, and some of them were first time can bet it won't be their last trip! Here are some fun photos..

More Raised Beds...

Tuff also put in raised garden beds for Missy and Jessica..they wanted a garden but didn't really have a large area to till, so this worked out perfectly for them. Everyone pitched in and helped build, fill & plant them, and they had a very successful growing season. Click here and here.. to see!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Time Flies!!

OK, so I haven't posted ALL SUMMER! We have so much to catch up on, and so many photos to share of the last few months. We had visitors from out of the country, projects, cabin time, family time, and (I hate to admit this) Facebook time! I've gotten to where I'm posting to facebook and farming on farmtown, and I've neglected our blog. That's going to change and I'm going to catch up this month, guaranteed! Watch for an update soon..!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

'Shroom Hunting 2009

Most of our family gets really excited when Mushroom hunting season is near...We start planning & plotting, we look online to see if anyone is finding them near us, what color, how many, etc. Missy actually looses sleep over it. I don't loose sleep, but I dream about huge woods full of them, and I am standing in the middle of all of the golden morels with a huge bag picking them all by myself. Then I wake up. So, we went to a few spots around home that we usually find a few, and planned some time at the cabin so we could check out the woods where we went last year with Pete & Rachel. To make a long story shorter, we did find a few. Jessica & I scouted the area at home on a rainy day and Jessica found a handful to take home & eat.(MMmm good!) Tuff & Missy headed to the cabin a few days ahead of me, and we went to our new favorite spot, and found quite a few, all colors mixed together, blacks, greys and whites. It sure is exciting to spot them! Then a few days later, Brian, Lauren, Drew, Jim & Melissa drove up & had some fun picking! We were lucky and had great weather, and the woods was beautiful. We drove the jeep through some fun 2-tracks and did some exploring..and took LOTS of photos, click here to see them!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Easter Hunt 2009!

It was another fun Easter Hunt at the Kidders! Great company, good food, great fun! We still haven't decided who has the most fun..the kids or the adults? This year we added another element, musical chairs! It may sound a little corny, but it was a blast, and we saw a little competitiveness going on with a few of us. (of course, it wasn't me) What can I say, I'm already looking forward to next year. Want to see some fun photos? Then click here!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Signs of Spring 2009!

Tuff and I have been itching to get out and do a little mushroom we went for a 2 hour hike through the woods with Buddy. We didn't find any 'shrooms, but it sure was nice to get out in the sun and smell all of the good spring woodsy smells & hear all of the birds & frogs singing. I think it's been a little to cold for the Morels to pop up, but with the warm weather coming in the next few days it won't be long, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


All I can say is "Finally!" "At last!" "It's about time!" I know you're all enjoying the warmer weather, too. It just makes me want to get out and start digging in the flower beds & garden, but I know it's still a little early. Especially since I heard the "S" word on the weather forecast! At any rate, I know it's just a passing thing, and soon we'll all be saying its too hot! Welcome back SPRING!

Buds' Raised Garden Beds

Tuff & Bud recently put some raised beds at Bud & Irenes house. As we all know, Bud is an avid gardener and grows lots & lots of produce. He even donates much of what he grows each summer to a couple of organizations. These raised garden beds are a great addition to his garden & Tuff was excited to help put them in. Bud also has awesome compost piles and got to fill the beds right away...We can't wait to see lots of veggies & strawberries growing in them! Here are some photos of the day...

Wildflower field, year 3!

This will be the third year for our wildflower field. We went to a seminar 4 years ago and learned as much as we could before starting it. One of the things suggested was to burn or mow 1/2 of the field after the 2nd year. This is beneficial for the soil, and it keeps down unwanted woody growth. Well, we burned 1/2 of ours, and we just can't believe how things are growing in that half! We have lots of lupine, lobelia, yarrow, dianthus, rudbedkia (black-eyed susan), and lot's more coming up! We can't wait to see what comes up compared to last seems to change a little each time. Here are some photos of the field after the burning, and some of the growth that started just a few days later. We'll post more photos as it grows, so check back soon!


We wanted to show you our composting pile! Anyone that gardens will know the benefits of's great stuff to add to your vegetable or flower gardens. Tuff keeps several piles in different stages going all the time. We have one that's ready to till in our garden beds now, one that will be ready next spring and a brand new pile that's just being started. We put grass clippings, chopped leaves, sticks, kitchen scraps, (which includes veggie & fruit scraps & peels, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc., no dairy, meat, or fat) into the pile all summer & winter, along with topsoil, water, & turn every month or so. You end up with awesome compost which adds benefical nurtients to your garden beds! Here are a few photos showing the composting process..

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lowes Kids Clinic

Ty, Grace, Eli, Kesse and Yvonne signed up for the kids clinic at the Lowes where Alys works, to build a racecar. I think there were a total of about 50 kids attending, and loud hammering was heard through-out the store for about 1 1/2 hours! The kids get goggles, an apron, the kit, a certificate and patch to keep. Some kids have over 10 patches sewn on their aprons, and come to the clinic regularly. Irene, Bud, and Tuff came along to watch the parents help the kids build their racecars. I hope that Grace, Ty and Eli become regulars at the clinics, it's so much fun for them! Click here to see more photos of the morning.