My animal adventure

So recently at the garden center I had started to notice some overnight destruction of some of our plant products. Mostly the flowering cabbage and kale used for fall patio pots. It didn’t take long before the biggest woodchuck I have ever seen crossed paths with me one day! Upon further inspection I noticed the chubby beast had started to dig under one of my greenhouses. So we blocked the hole in hopes of detterring it only to see the next day that it had created a new entry right next to the blocked one, lol. 

Woodchuck 1 Garden Center staff 0…

While outside discussing how to proceed with project woodchuck a regular customer stopped in and offered to bring us some live traps to help us remove our fat little friend. We happily accepted and he dropped off three traps later that morning. 

Like magic the next morning we were very pleased to find one VERY large woodchuck! 

We sent him off to a happier home, and reset our trap in case there were relatives still to be had. 

A few days went by with nothing…we caught a couple of rascally Chipmunks but nothing major…until Saturday…

My daughter decided to come help out Saturday and while unlocking doors and opening greenhouses she found herself just feet away from our trap. I heard the faint soft….Moooooom??!! Come from outside and next thing I know she was running as fast as she could into the retail center, laughing hysterically! I asked her what she was doing and she said “You have a little skunk problem!”  I said oh it stinks huh? She said no literally you caught a SKUNK!! …well crap…

Sure enough….

We called George and came and took care of it but not before a healthy dose of skunk stink was released on my garden center….let’s just say it was a very long day of work…my sinuses are still burning! 

Another day goes by no excitement and then this morning well why not…a possom!!

I’ve got myself a native petting zoo over here folks!! All I need now is a raccoon and my collection will be complete! 

Hope your week is rodent free! Thanks for reading! 

Halloween planning! 

Halloween has always been one of my favorite calendar days. I raised my kids with the idea that Halloween was something really special. We would dress up, decorate the house inside and out. When they were little we travelled to see family and friends all dressed up and as they got older we began to host get togethers at the house where we could all have a little festive fun. Well, as the years have gone on our Halloween party has gotten a little bigger each year… Last year was the biggest yet and here’s the fun part there is usually a fun theme to play around with! 

We’ve done Alice in Wonderland, my BFF and I went as Big Alice and Little Alice lol. 

And last year’s party was Great Gatsby style with lots of bling! 

This year we took to social media and let the people vote! So we are now planning a Steampunk Carnival/Circus themed Halloween Extravaganza! I am transforming the barn into a dark circus tent with lots of hidden surprises! The decorations have started to roll in and we begin the process of transforming the barn this weekend! Guests are asked to bring their own drinks and a passing dish (this is an adult atmosphere so no little ones this time). We’ll have some fun games, and the DJ is confirmed! As always all are welcome! 

See you at our dark funky fun carnival friends, festivities take place October 21st! 

One last weekend away…

The summer is coming to a close and fall is in the air so we took off for one more get away with friends before we’re in the throws of fall festivities and holiday preparations! 

Our friends Amber and Eric invited us to his family home in Northern Michigan a great place to visit and just relax. We visited the Mission Point Light house, the beach, and did a whole lot of just hanging out around the bonfire. It was a great break from our day to day, and some much appreciated time laughing with our good friends! 

The drive to Mission Point Light was awesome, we passed several beautiful vinyards and orchards, with the water peaking through trees now and then. The weather was perfect cool, and breezy…and Grand traverse Bay was breath taking.

We laughed as the girls sang their guts out to Justin Beiber in the car, and made sure to get our customary group photo this time on the beach! 

Time to start heading home where this week brings more fall stock deliveries to the garden center, and a flurry of activity at the house as we prepare for our annual Halloween Party! (one of my faves) I’ll share more on that soon too! Thanks for following along! Bye!

Summer Recap

It’s been awhile since my last post, practically all summer actually! So, I thought I would provide a recap of everything you might have missed. 

We hosted our annual 4th of July party and as usual a ton of fun was had by all. Jordon and Keegan won the cornhole championship cup, although Amber and I sport them best, and the fireworks were spectacular! 


Andy and I made a couple quick trips to Port Clinton OH, and Put In Bay this summer. A great mini-vacay destination if your ever looking to go. The island is a relaxing spot to tool around on golf carts, hang out at the park, hike a bit, and enjoy the Lake Erie views.

Brianna’s pageant took place, she did a fabulous job! Taking 4th runner up, people’s choice award, and the elegance in evening gown award! She looked stunning, and brought home $600 in scholarship prizes! Good job Bri! 


After the pageant we attended the Jackson County Relay for Life event in memory of our son Logan. Jordon and Brianna along with a ton of their friends did a great job holding down the fort for us overnight so the grown ups could get some rest. Our Relay event is 24hrs and each team is supposed to have a member on the track at all times. The kids walk all night and then crash the minute we get back in the morning. 


Andy and I celebrated our 19th Anniversary this year on August 8th, and celebrated this past weekend in Las Vegas (my bags made it all the way there and back woohoo!!). We stayed at Planet Hollywood, a nice resort the room was very nice and had a great view of the Bellagio fountains a no added cost upgrade btw. The casino layout was congested and difficult navigate though compared to other places that we have stayed. Oh, and it’s very LOUD in this casino even in the Restaurants. Don’t let it stop you though, Gordon Ramsey’s BurGR is fantastic (more on that meal later)! 

I think that about brings us up to date! We’re prepping for back to school now for Brianna, and I have a few great new recipes to share soon too. Hope you alł had a great summer! It’s almost Fall y’all!! 

The Rose Parade and Picnic in the Park

Back at it again after a busy weekend!  This past Sunday we celebrated the Rose Festival and attended the picnic in the park, this is a local tradition that started 59 years ago!  The Rose is our official flower, and the rose festival is a Spring/Summer event that celebrates all of the wonderful things that Jackson has to offer.  Jackson MI, is known for its abundant and beautiful parks, lakes and waterways,  recreational resources and of course roses.

A little more history for you… For decades, Ella Sharp Park, community and residential gardens have cultivated the rose.  In 1931, the rose was chosen as the official flower of Jackson and we became known as “The Rose City”.

Ella Sharp Rose Garden

In 1958,  The Jackson County Rose Festival was inaugurated with The Jackson County Rose Parade, followed by The Jackson County Rose Queen Pageant in 1960.  The Parade is a celebration for local organizations to honor and reward individuals and groups. The Parade allows schools, scouting troops, churches, civic organizations and businesses to promote a positive image of themselves and the Jackson area. The Rose Parade is one of the largest in Michigan with over 100 entries each year.Over the years, various Rose Festival events complement the Parade and Pageant including the Picnic in the park event featuring a good old fashioned pie eating contest!

Rose Parade Jackson MI              Pie eating contest 1962

The event has not changed much since it inception, the route changed slightly for a couple of years and reverted back to the original location in honor of the 50th anniversary. However the picnic in park, and pie eating contest have held strong and still take place today!

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So why the history lesson, well… our daughter Brianna was in the parade this year as Miss Teen JTV, proudly driven down the parade route with her Mentor Celia Napoletano, by none other that her very proud Dad, and big brother. It was truly an honor for one of our kids to be a part of such a wonderful community event.

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How bout a pageant update! 

So last time I updated on the pageant world we had just gotten our head shots back and we’re preparing for Gala…

Gala is an evening dinner event for the girls, their families, and the sponsors. It is at this event that the ladies are paired with their sponsors for the pageant. It is a very exciting night for the girls. As a reminder our daughter Brianna is one of the top ten contestants competing for the title of Miss Jackson County Teen USA. She has a very good friend, Celia Napoletano, who is competing for the title of Miss Jackson County Rose Queen. These pageants are part of the Miss USA competition and if they win they will move on to the state level competition for their respective age groups.

Brianna and Celia have grown up together in the pageant circuit, and they were both so badly wanting to be paired with the same sponsor. As each teen contestant is paired with a Miss contestant as a mentor through sponsorship….Hopefully I’ve connected all the dots here lol.

Gala did not disappoint! Celia is now Miss JTV and so of course Brianna is now Miss Teen JTV!

I am so immensely proud of these two! And I know they will do a great job representing JTV, owned and operated by Bart and Karen Hawley.

Since the gala, the contestants participated in a sash making party. Preparing hand made sashes to display during the Rose parade this coming weekend.

And…We went shopping for gowns!!! My favorite part lol!

She did choose a favorite but I’m not letting cat out of the bag just yet. Stay tuned! Up next her appearance tomorrow on JTV, and the Rose Parade!

The fun stuff

Let’s delve into what we do for a living just a bit more. My husband started a lawn and landscape company 10yrs ago, and four years ago we expanded it and added a retail garden center.Last season we added a butterfly house attraction at the garden center.

The butterfly house has been a fantastic addition. I love it because it brings pure joy to so many people. I’ve spent the last two days with our mobile house out in our community and seeing all the fun the kids have had with our butterflies this weekend makes me so happy.

Between our local Earth Day celebration, and the Fairy Festival we entertained over 500 people this weekend! This season is shaping up to be a great one, I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Time for Head Shots! 

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Brianna is a participant in a local pageant coming up in August, and leading up to the big night there are a few events that she will be a part of. Today was the first step! Time for Head shots!

But first…Let’s take a selfie…

Head shots are important as they will be used as your first impression, and an introduction to a lot of people. Both those who come to watch the pageant as they are presented in the program book, but also to the judges!

It’s important to look professional, approachable, and natural. Light makeup, easy hair, super simple.

The photographer in this case a friendly acquaintance who does a great job by the way! Will give a little guidance but it’s really up to the girls to provide the image they want to portray. They were all given the same dress code. Black tank top, blue jeans, and tennis shoes.

Side note…Brianna is VERY picky…She tried on 8 tank tops before choosing this one.

The end result will be spectacular! I can’t wait to see more!

Next up is the Gala, where she will be given her sponsor sash, and meet her Rose Candidate mentor. I’ll post more soon! Thanks!!

Time for an update! 

I haven’t abandoned my blog I promise! It’s been a crazy couple weeks preparing things at the garden center for another busy season! We’re starting to receive regular deliveries of new Spring products and once the fickle Michigan weather calms down we expect a fantastic kick off!

I love getting all the fresh product in, but my favorite thing to receive…The Flowers! I got my first shipment in today and now I feel like it’s finally here! Spring is upon us and I can get excited about it again!

April and May are so busy you might not here from me very often but I promise to document my adventures as things calm down again! Talk to you soon!

Introductions

Today our daughter Brianna kicked off pageant season with an introductional meeting at one of the local high schools. The aim of this meeting was to provide the rules, meet and greet the director and her assistants, as well as the other candidates. They were given a list of upcoming event dates as well. It looks like we’re off to a great start!

Brianna is not new to the pageant scene, she was in her first pageant at age five! Taking a top ten title in the little miss sunshine pageant! She was so little and so cute!!

This led to many other pageant opportunities and she always had a blast! She won most photogenic a year later…

And won her first title Miss Junior Jackson County the year after that!

She continued on for a another couple seasons before taking a quick break.


Now we’re at a whole new level of competition. We’re playing for more than crowns and trophies. She is now participating for real scholarship money and the opportunity to represent Jackson County at the State level competition! It’s so exciting to watch how she has grown since starting these so many years ago! Good luck baby girl on your road to the crown! Next up head shots, I’ll post more on this soon! We love you, Bri!!