Babs Just A Babblin' Blog

A bit of Gardening, baking, blogging, knitting, sewing, family, friends and discovering hidden treasures along the way.

Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Friday!

Well, we're winding up the week.  It's dreary, windy, and cold here.  I just checked the temperature a few minutes ago and it's 52 degrees. And the wind gusts are wicked.  Today will be a good day to head down to Lake Michigan to get some wave action pictures for you.

Not much planned for the weekend.  We are thinking, if the weather cooperates, to head up north on Sunday/Monday for a little color tour.  The colors are really getting great right now.

I'll leave with you with this darling snapshot my niece, Jessie, put on her website.  A fond memory for her.....Grandpa Bruno.
Jess and her Grampa Bruno!  My Dad!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


ArtPrize never disappoints.  We arrived just before noon today (Maggie, my Mom, and I) and wandered to different venues until about 4:30pm.  Our feet were tired!  The day was perfect...not too cold, not hot, the rain held out...just plain pleasant.

It's so difficult to choose a favorite.  I did cast a vote for some.  There are 1567 artists all together so it's impossible to get around to see even half of the displays.  My theory is enjoy what you are able to see!

I have a few favorites to share with you just to give you an idea of the different mediums the artist utilize:
Metal Praying Mantis outdoors
Glitter Girl - a favorite - 50,000 crystals were used to create.

Maggie and Mom in front of map made of postage stamps

Another favorite entitled "Embrace"

Paper Mache Sweetwater Basket Lady

Artist used over 200 pens to create this piece

Thousands of mosiac tiles comprised this piece!  Awesome!
Richard and I will go again next week.  I believe Sunday they will announce the Top Ten Finalists.  Each year we go and visit each entry that makes the top ten and cast our vote.

How fortunate we are to have something this cool so close to us.  If you get a chance to go, Please do it!  You won't be sorry.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Embarking on A New Adventure

Last week, I stopped into the Spring Lake District Library.  It is one of my favorites in the area.  It is fairly new, nice fireplace, comfy chairs, and lots of magazines and computers and books galore.  As I walked in, there were quite a few book bags hanging on racks.  The book bags had tags on them.  Of course, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to check them out.
These are called Book Club in a Bag.  The tag on the outside of the bag indicates the books that are inside.  Each bag contains ten copies of the same book.  You actually check the bag out for six weeks.  There is a sign out sheet for all the books and a guide for questions to discuss when everyone comes together after the book has been read.  The person who checked the bag out is responsible for collecting and returning the bag.  I thought, what a great idea.  I want to support this initiative so why not give it a whirl.

I checked out The Elegance of a Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.
It should be interesting.  We have a very mixed group of participants.  Young, old, male, female.  The night we gather to discuss the book, we will share our thoughts on the book, wine, appetizers and desserts, of course.

What a fun thing to do as fall is upon us.....its getting darker out earlier, colder in the evenings, why not snuggle around a fire and read and share thoughts!

I'll let you know who it goes and how we enjoyed the book (or if we didn't).  The library has about 20 of these Book Club bags, so we shall see if we want to partake in another over the winter.

What are you reading these days?


Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Here...ArtPrize 2011

September 21 through October 9 in Grand Rapids.

This is the third year for ArtPrize.  It has become an unexpected phenomenon.  Part art festival, part social experiment, part civic project, the event overtakes the entire city bringing visitors in the hundreds of thousands.  There are over 1500 entries this year.  The winner is decided solely by public vote.

Maggie, my Mother, and I are planning on attending next Tuesday.  Its perfect weather to wander downtown Grand Rapids and check out the venues.  We'll probably hit The B.O.B., the Grand Rapids Public Museum and DeVos Place and whatever we find in between.  We will stop somewhere for a little cocktail and a few munchies or whatever.  I can't wait.

For more information, visit .  Also follow along to watch the top 10 evolve.  I'll be sure to take pictures of my favorites and share with all of you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apples, Apples, Apples

Yes, we went back to the orchard this past weekend and purchased a huge bag of Honey Crisp apples.  Oh my, they are delicious.  We tried the "newest" apple on the market also - Sweet Tango.  Have you heard of it?  It's pretty good, real juicy little sweet, little tart.  Very expensive!  I will be more than happy to stick with  my Honey Crisp, thank you very much.  They are just as good in my opinion.

I still had apples left from my first visit to the orchard.  Thus, had to use them up.

Apple Crisp.....oh my goodness!  I can't even begin to describe the goodness.  I can't say which was better either, the apple squares and the apple crisp.  Even the plain ole' apples are delicious!

Oh, sorry, please don't stop by for a's gone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Couple Happy Birthdays

While I was unconnected.....we had a few birthdays to celebrate!

Happy Birthday Jackie in Chicago and Adam in Orlando!  Hope both of you had a great day and much love to both of you from Aunt Barb!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm back!

Oh it feels so good to be connected again!  From the comfort of my own home that is!

A few projects have been in the works.  The one I am going to talk about today has been a long time coming.  I know I had some bad pictures of this posted earlier, but it was so long ago I can''t even find the post.  Anyway, it was pretty sad looking.

The BEFORE was an old cedar chest from a friends basement.  It had no legs, it was plain, and full of dirt and dust.

We added legs and trim work and then covered the top to make a bench seat.
Nice cedar lined chest.
These side handles were are the originals.
This is a close up of the fabric for the seat cushion.  It's a slate gray and pearl color.  Goes perfect in our master bedroom.  The chest made its home at the foot of our bed.

I'll be back again tomorrow.  Glad you all stuck with me!

Monday, September 19, 2011


The Wifi serviceman is scheduled to be at the house. Hopefully I can start posting worthy things again. Missed it terribly. Look forward to some good stuff!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blogger I Miss You

Just an good internet connection yet.  Tuesday!~  stay tuned.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Caved!

The furnace went on! It was 58 degrees outside yesterday afternoon. This morning when we got up it was 40. It was freezing inside. No need to sit and shiver. It's early but I need to be toasty especially the next few days....Richard is at a swap meet with his brother. So no one to snuggle with!

I'm at the library right now writing a quick post....still no Internet! Boo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My Internet is down. Repair is a ways out. I'll be hanging out at local coffee shops for awhile. Bear with me, I will post when I can.

Thank God I have my iPad and the cellular network. I can do something's but it sucks a lot of data time.

Don't give up on me please!


So Delicious

Remember the post from a few days ago, we went to the apple orchard!   The picture is a result of the apples.  Yum. Yum.  We used three pounds of apples ----cortlands, gala, macintosh and wolf river to create these Fabulous apple squares.

  Sorry all gone!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Project Finished

The trio of dishcloths.  I love the colorways!  Hmmm....who will be the lucky recipient?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ta-Dah.....It's Done....almost

Remember the post about the bricks we snatched from Richard's former shop?  See June 30 post but I will refresh a few pictures here.

Here is the brick walkway on the side of the deck
 Richie did a great corner here.

 Nice cut work, good fit and I love the colors of the bricks.  I really like the one brick that says "CHICAGO BRICK CO."

Now, all that is left is a few finishing touches on the bricks...fill in cracks with beach sand.  And then, I am going to plant some ajuga between the bricks and the deck to fill in next spring.  Also plant some hosta and myrtle along the outside edge.
We will move a few large planters along the angled corner also to jazz it up a bit.

Thanks Richie for doing such a great job!  You're my hero!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Phil and Ginny

Happy Birthday to my older brother and older sister!  Their birthdays are on September 11th.  I know that day has a lot of symbolism and sadness, thus I will post this today.

Enjoy your day!  Celebrate! and enjoy your iPads from Mother!
Love from your sister Babs~

Friday, September 9, 2011


Jake called me and asked for a ride to the soccer field for his game.  Before we left, I asked him to strike a pose.  Last week, I blogged about his soccer game and had a few pictures but because he was on the field and moving too much, I couldn't get a good shot.  Here is a still shot.  This is my soccer guy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


My friend, Lynne, called this afternoon as I was crafting. She asked if I wanted to take a drive out to an apple orchard for apples.  She had just had her haircut and a gal at the salon gave her a tip on great apples.

So, off we went.  I didn't even think to take my camera, darn.  Anyway, we found the place Kooistra's Orchards.  He is officially opening tomorrow but had quite a few ready to sell today.  He said folks have been stopping by all week.  He has probably about 15 varieties of apples during the season.

I purchased Cortlands, Gala, and Macs.
These guys are as big as grapefruits.  Doug, the apple maven, gave me four of them.  Reason being, they are an apple that has no flavor.  I asked, "why would you sell an apple with no flavor?"  He said, it is an old variety of apple called Wolf River.  It is horrible as an eating apple, but it makes the best darn pie!  So he asked me to try them.  Guaranteed, I will like them he said.  We'll see.

This is what I plan on making first.  My dad always wanted me to make Apple Strudel like his sister Mame'.
I never made them before, so here's to Dad and Aunt first attempt.  I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Here to Tell You

Fall is definitely in the air.  You certainly can feel it, smell it, and see it!

Pine cones are falling from the trees, the sun is further away, the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are cooler (as in it was 45 degrees this morning).  As you can see above, the trees are aching to turn color.
I do love fall, I will admit.  I just don't care for what follows!

Enjoy this beautiful's perfect!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Big Star Outing

Richie and I headed up to Don and Maggie's cottage on Big Star Lake.  It's a perfect drive...only about an hour and a half from home.
It's a good sized lake.  It was a bit breezy but a nice day for a pontoon boat ride.
We took a little walk and then the four of us headed up to Baldwin.

Notice the sweatshirts............there is a chill in the air!
 Cute little sandwich shop across from the fish farm.

Then we head to Jones Ice Cream in Baldwin. 
 Homemade ice institution.
 Maggie and Don got a single dip cone!
 Don highly recommended the mini banana split so I couldn't resist!
Cool  vintage ice cream scoops on the wall.  Maggie got the idea to start collecting them from here.
It was a good, relaxing day!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Soccer Season Begins

Mona Shores High School Varsity Soccer
Captain Jacob Carlson

Go Sailors!