Sunday, September 10, 2017

Dahlia Acres Farm... (a flower lover's dream come true)

 Don't we all love beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers?
Who knew that a visit to an early morning farmer's market would lead to an amazing opportunity to gaze upon fields of colorful Dahlia's and learn about the joy and (labors) of owning a flower farm...

 we ran away from home...
(the Gardner and I)
a brief little get away to one of our favorite places..
South Haven, Michigan
                                


 one of our favorite things to do in South Haven
is to visit the early Saturday morning Farmer's Market..
a stunning display of "just picked" dahlia's at the market
led me to a conversation with Melissa..
and an invitation to visit 
this pretty little farm
with it's fields of dahlias...



 an hour's drive, just north of South Haven
is Allendale, Michigan...
on a quiet and quaint country road
is this pretty little place...


 sitting alongside the road
is a market cart filled with farm fresh produce
and beautiful "just picked" dahlia's...
  
 we're on the "honor system" here...
take what you want, and leave your money
in the box...
(don't you love that?)
 
just behind the market cart... for as far as you can see,
are beautiful fields of blooming dahlia's..
a colorful palette of blooms...


 we were warmly welcomed to Dahlia Acres
by Dave Buist,
he and his business partner, Marcy Krause
 are the owners
of this beautiful farm...
~
we were invited to walked through the fields
 and along the road,
taking photos...
(and photos, and photos...)
~
all the while I'm thinking,
I've got to share these photos
with all of you!


 Did you ever think that you would like
to own a flower farm?
( I will admit to maybe having those thoughts...)
however briefly... 


 Dave explained to us the business and the "busyness"
of running a Dahlia Farm...
..."the dahlia tubers (hundreds and hundreds of them)
are planted in early April... 
first blooms will begin to flower
by early July." 
 
 "the tubers are harvested (by a potato digger) after the first frost... 
during the late autumn weeks, 
they are then tediously sorted
 according to color..."

   
 Dahlia Acres is a family run farm
and the work is done by family members and a few hired laborers.
most of the planting, harvesting,sorting... 
is all done by hand
~
a million hours of labor
just to harvest these beautiful blooms



 So...
 what happens to all these 
flowers?


nimble fingered bloom lovers
can make an appointment to pick their own flowers...
perhaps for a party, special occasion, wedding,
or just because we all love a
beautiful fresh bouquet...
~ those who are not so nimble,
can request to have their flowers
picked and made ready
for pick up...
 
 beautiful blooms are always for sale
at the roadside cart...




in season,
 you'll find Melissa or other family members
selling these beautiful blooms at the local
farmer's markets.
You'll notice them right away --
they will be the most colorful and stunning
display at the markets!



For those of you who are local...
you can find the blooms at the
 South Haven, Grand Haven, and Muskegon 
farmer's markets.
~

you can also purchase dahlia tubers
in the color of your choice
by visiting their website here...
 

 For the Ladies only....
a unique activity for your special
 "girl's night out"...
~
Attention all my Michigan readers...
if you are local to the area or want to plan
a special outing...
how fun would this be?


 a few more photos of this gorgeous vintage
truck display...




 If you find yourself in Michigan...
or want one of many excuses to travel in this direction..
(we LOVE Michigan!)
you can visit Dahlia Acres Farm at
7577 Buchanan St.
Allendale, MI
49401

you can find these nice folks
on Facebook here...




~
And a note from me...
everyday we grow stronger,somehow. The pain is there still, and I often shed tears when a memory is stirred... but we are moving forward as we all must do.  Your notes of condolence and love continue to move me and warm my heart.  You are all so very precious to me.  Thank you for caring so much.

The summer has been one of non stop tasks and that has helped to keep our minds busy.  My son and the little girls have moved here to my hometown.  They have a beautiful home and live only about 10 miles from me. Needless to say I have spent endless days and hours packing up boxes and then unpacking them in the new house. In actuality ... we will probably still be unpacking boxes a year from now.. but at least they are here close by, and beginning to settle into a new life.

Somehow, the Gardener and I did manage to sneak away to Michigan for a few days.... it was wonderful to enjoy our travels again. You can see more photos from our beautiful Michigan trip on my 2 Bags Full Instagram page as well as more photos from the lovely Dahlia Farm. I'll be posting them soon! Please join me on Instagram if you wish.  (If you have never done Instagram.... it is SO easy! So much easier than Facebook or blogging!

An update on the Kindness Quilt Project...
You are amazing! We now have over 300 quilt squares for this project. Our deadline has passed so we will now move forward with the completion of the quilt (quilts!). Within the next few weeks I will announce the winners of the giveaway.  And -- I promise the photos are coming.  I have had hardly a spare minute to finish them this summer.  

Lets talk about the quilt (s)... how in the world am I going to put all of these quilt squares together??? I'm trying to think of a way that you all can help me with this.  Please put your thinking caps on and if you have any ideas, please leave a comment or email me.  The potential for this project has moved beyond anything that I could have imagined.  Your caring spirits are proof that there is genuine kindness and caring in this world. Let's all think about the best way to move forward with over 300 quilt squares!!....I welcome your input and ideas!!

xoxo,
Vicki

ps....
you probably won't believe this... but I am now a chicken Mama. The little girls have chickens...(they came with the house) and I have claimed them as my own.  I know..... it's totally crazy, but I am in love with the chicky girls...
stop laughing...




Monday, June 26, 2017

Baby love...

We have welcomed a precious new baby girl into our family... another beautiful little great niece for me.  Our Maddy girl is now a big sister. Of course I knitted something special for her arrival...

  precious pink baby blanket
knitted in my 
"mistake stitch" pattern...

 a tiny whisper thin mohair
matching wrap and hat
for her newborn 
photos...

the tiny wrap is knitted 
in a variation of a honeycomb stitch.. 

 both the little wrap and hat
are embellished
with pink satin rosebuds
and trim...

 the gray mohair 
is from my "never ending stash...
~
the hat is knitted with grey 
ribbon ball yarn from
"Be Sweet"
(thank goodness it was also 
in my stash...)
(be forewarned... it is quite costly!)

 the blanket is knitted with 
the most wonderfully soft and exquisite yarn...
Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo.
(omgosh... I love this yarn!) 

this yarn knitted up so beautifully..
it is the perfect weight for a baby blanket
and is so wonderfully soft.
(this might be my new favorite yarn for
baby blankets)

As you know,
 our family has had
some great sadness in our lives...
knitting this little ensemble has been 
such a great help to me.
It is true what is said about the rhythm 
of knitting...
it calms the soul.

 Welcome to our beautiful
"Kynzley Jayde"

tiny fingers and toes...
she is perfect..

we are in baby love...


A little note from me...

I want to tell you something... 
I love you. All of you.  These past days have been difficult and dark for our family, but as you all know... we must go on.  We have to.  Your messages of comfort and love, the cards you sent, the emails, texts, messages on IG,.... everyday it seems there is something from you. Words to comfort me, telling me that you understand and that you are still here... waiting for me.  I cannot begin to tell you how much that your thoughts and prayers have meant to me.  

We still grieve, we always will.... but there is sunshine to warm my heart.  We have just returned from accompanying my son and our little grandaughters on a Disney cruise. "Pixie dust" is the cure for almost anything it seems.  I've been posting photos of our little trip, as well as my gardening, and some other tidbits on my
 "2 Bags Full" Instagram page.  I would love for you to follow me there...

For those of you who cannot, don't worry, I will still be here.  I will post as often as I can... but we are busy with so many things right now. And honestly..it is just so much easier and quicker to post on IG.  If you do follow me there, please say hello and tell me that you are one of my blog readers.  I would love to follow you back on your own Instagram page. Rest assured though... my posts regarding the nests, and my knitted items will always be here.

Regarding the nests...
I'm so behind. Way behind. Way, way behind.  There is no way that the newest nest, the patriotic Freebird nest is going to be ready this summer.  So... I am pushing it back until early next summer.  It will be ready for the holidays next summer for sure.

Regarding the Kindness Quilt Project...
well, I'm behind on that too. Your beautiful contributions are all here and my next post will have photographs of all of the latest contributions.  Everything that has been donated since the first post with photos -- will be in this next post. August 1 is the deadline to send your contributions.  The quilt is going to be breathtaking -- truly lovely.  Thank you for understanding how and why I am so behind..

I'll be back as soon as I can... 
xoxo
Vicki    

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An explanation of absence...

Her absence is like the sky, 
             spread over everything...
                     C. S. Lewis





Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

We have lost our beautiful Alicia....
The greatest mysteries in life have now been revealed to our beautiful daughter in law.
She fought stronger than the bravest of warriors for over 4 years. Never once complaining.. always with only one focus in her heart....To live for her girls and for her husband. In these past few days she gave her absolute all in hopes that she could live just a tiny bit longer for her babies. Not once did her faith in God ever waiver. She lived only to do His will and to be a Mother and a Wife.

God had other plans. We are so sad and we are trying so hard to accept and understand the "why" of it all. Our babies are only 4 and 6... (almost 7.) We will need the strength of a multitude of prayers in these days ahead. Our only focus is to be strong for our precious girls and for my son.

I am so very proud of my son. He has been an amazing husband and father during this most difficult time... giving his absolute all to his babies and to Alicia. Days and days and days of staying at the hospital all night and all day, and then going back and forth to help with homework and putting the girls to bed at night. Always leading them in bedtime prayers and reading their Bible stories to them. Alicia would be so proud.. they both have raised their girls to be close to God.

We are beyond exhausted and emotionally spent. There are no words to describe the hell that we have been through these past weeks and months.
Please just whisper a gentle prayer for my son and our beautiful granddaughters. I know that God will send sunshine into our life again.. but right now it is the darkest of days.

Fly high our beautiful Alicia... like Peter Pan you will be forever young. You will live in our hearts forever and we will never let your babies forget you💕


To my precious blog friends...
I know I've been gone a long time. I've been spending almost every minute helping my son and daughter in law with our precious granddaughters. Sadly, I've had not one extra minute for my blog. Not one..

I promise that I am coming back to you.. 
 but I'm going to need some time..💕

xoxo
Vicki