Sunday, April 27, 2008

Family Cement

Last year we had the hard task of selling the house where I grew up on Baldwin Lake. My family moved there in 1964, and my Dad and Mom took the small 2 bedroom lake cottage and eventually ended up with the 4 bedroom walkout basement on the lake. My Dad, Bill Leers passed away in 1994, and we lost my Mom, Madeline in 2006. My Moms wish was that we sell the home and divide the profits between her 9 surviving children. The family that bought our house had a vision to do an extensive remodel and still keep the original structure of the house pretty much the same. When they were doing this, they had to remove the cement patio that was poured in 1972. Our Dad was pretty darn proud of what he had accomplished and signed his, Moms, and the kids names remaining at home in the cement patio the day he poured it, along with the date. I knew this was going to be removed with the renovations, and went over and took some pictures before the remodeling began. Several months went by and the house was looking great. One winter day in 2007 Tuff and I were driving around Elkhart and pulled into a parking lot where there were some old bricks, and pieces of limestone set up as benches for sale. As we drove into the back of the lot we spotted some broken pieces of cement, and Tuff said "That's your Moms' cement" I thought he was crazy, but sure enough there was a large piece with all of our names on it!! Needless to say, we now have that chunk of my childhood here at our house, and have it set up as a table in our garden area. I believe it was meant to be here with us. We also discovered the iron spiral staircase that was in the house in the same parking lot, and have that also. Although I am not sure yet how we will use it, you can be sure to see it in the future on our blog. To see a few more pictures of our family cement, click here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kidders raised garden beds

After helping with Rick & Betsys raised garden beds, we decided that was the way for us to go! We are now building and installing our own raised beds. We are looking forward to planting, weeding and harvesting without all of the back-ache we usually get! Plus, we can now allow the grass to grow between the beds and just mow like usual, and do away with standing in the mud while we are working. We mixed good topsoil with 1 year old composted leaves & grass, and rotted manure, and filled the beds. We can't wait to see how this style of gardening compares with what we have always had in the past. We will still have our traditional areas for pumpkins, squash and other plants that need alot of room. Check back later, because we will post pictures throughout the growing season. Here are just a few more pictures of the raised beds.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt!

Since Easter was so early this year we decided to wait until nicer weather to have the Kidders annual Easter Hunt! And it was well worth the wait. We had picture perfect weather, and everyone had so much fun! We had a great group of kids & plenty of food. Everyone got to try out the stilts Tuff made, and I think Jessica won that contest, but everyone had fun trying them out. It's much harder than it looks! Bud & Irene brought their golf cart along so that they could cover more ground and see what all the kids were finding in their areas. And last but not least, we had the PRIZE egg hunt, which was hidden in the wildflower field. Lauren was the lucky winner of 5 golden dollars in the prize egg! We all look forward to our Easter get-together and can't wait until next year! Click here for more fun pictures.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Raised Garden Beds

Rick & Betsy needed to move all of their raised garden beds, so Tuff took our John Deere tractor over and we got all of the beds moved, filled, and ready for planting in just under 9 hours! With all 4 of us working, and a few visitors pitching in, we made really good time. Tuff and I are thinking of adding some raised beds to our garden. It was a perfect day, sunny, almost reaching 70 degrees. Click here to see the new raised garden bed area.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Signs of Spring!

When we got back home yesterday we were greeted with cheerful purple and white Crocus'! Along with other bulbs and plants poking up out of the ground, they are a sure sign of warmer weather to come!

Here are some more photos of the Crocus.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Cabin Fever!

Tuff, Buddy and Alys headed up to Kidders Cabin hoping to do some spring cleaning and leaf blowing. Imagine our surprise when we found lots & lots of snow still on the ground! We had to get out the shovels and snow blower before we could even pull in the drive! Although we didn't get some things accomplished that we had planned, there were plenty of things to do around the cabin. We walked around Wolf Lake almost every day, and that is a 4 mile hike. Good exercise for all of us! We visited with some of our neighbors, Pete & Rachel Beurmann, and Chuck Krause, who is a local wood carver. You will see some of his fish carvings in our photos. We've met some pretty good friends up here and always enjoy sitting around the campfire chatting with them. We saw plenty of wildlife, deer, birds, owls, snow geese, loons and even some turkeys that Buddy especially liked chasing from the yard. When we left this morning, 4/4/08, alot of the snow had melted and it was warming up into the 50's. We will have plenty of time for those spring chores the next trip up. Click here for some snowy pictures!