Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Keeping up with the Kennedy's

I want to share a few scenes from our life at T(o)KC. While we are not crazy busy like other people, we do have a lot going on this summer. This is what summer is all about. I, for one, am LOVING every minute of it.

Love the fact that we now have a tire swing for little (and not so little) visitors to enjoy. Also love the amazing, crazy complicated knot that Kent tied to secure, raise and lower the swing. He really is a handy guy to have around.

Love making chocolate chip cookies now. In fact, it's really rather addicting. Especially when one batch fits PERFECTLY in my Mom's round tupperware container. The same (30+ year old) tupperware container that went on many a picnic, road trip, school functions, and up north with our family! I love that it says Bachle on the side in her writing, and MOM on the top.

Love immersing myself into learning more about herbs and using them in new ways. Love channeling my Mom (again!) to make herb vinegars in anticipation of making and sharing her fresh herb salad dressing. Love watching the plants grow each and every day and harvesting them to make breakfast, lunch and dinner special.

Love Michigan produce. Love finding a new recipe and product that not only I think is really good, but K says is good enough to add to the product line. Love that my prototype batch included produce direct from my sisters garden, and that my Aunt Keen is one of my beta-testers!

Love putting my vintage finds to good use. This amazing suitcase is serving as a desk and storage space for my party planning paperwork and collection of goodies. It sits atop a folding teak table from my Mom and Dad's. At the end of the day I close it up, the clutter goes away and all is good. 
Beauty + Function.

Totally loving being outside in the morning and late afternoon, finding these amazing puddles of light and shadow.  Loving the organic, natural patterns and materials in juxtaposition with the industrial feel of things we've selected for that very reason.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer ... finally!

I wouldn't call "Summer" until the patio was done and although there is still some metal work to do, I'm officially calling it done and kicking off the season.

So now I can enjoy all the planning, visiting and partying that this summer holds. In a few weeks Wakako from Baum-kuchen and my precious Roo will be visiting us for over a week!! We're headed to the cottage and will spend some time here at T(o)KC. We will be having a get together before they head home. I want so many of my friends to meet my amazing Cali family (well, at least part of my Cali family).

The gardens have kept me busy. I was really intimidated to create/buy/plant the new landscaped garden by the patio. I love the plants we picked out, but need to do some re-arranging. I've been harvesting random flowers from the garden for around the house. I'll do a shade plant/garden post soon.

Plant highlight: I love the fluffy whiteness of Goats Beard. Introduced to me moons ago by my Mom and Dad. I remember arriving at the cottage and finding two wine bottles (beautiful deep blue and green) hosting goats beard and nepata (purple cat mint) on the kitchen table and was in awe. I actually think one of my bushes is from the cottage reno.

Goats beard, butterfly bush, spirea and barberry

Oh! I can't wait for Roo to come check out our patio raspberry bushes. They are loaded with berries waiting to ripen. We've have a few - and they are delicious. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these bushes are everything I hoped for to add some bulk, color and edible offerings on the patio. They have such a pretty leaf, the berries are a bonus!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


I have to admit I went back to bed this morning after making breakfast. The sun hadn't woken up yet, so I decided I wouldn't either. Luckily when I woke up (for the second time) the sun was shining and spent the day with us as we hung out doing chores and enjoying the back yard.

K worked his behind off all weekend. The sun deck is finished - with power! The path and landscaping are next. Hopefully this week!

I spent some time in the gardens. I fall in love with Jane's garden every year. I brought the angel from my Mom's house.

Still in the planning stages for the new landscaping. I have a list of plants I love, just need some thought put into what to put where and how many. I'm hoping to make it pretty easy to maintain.

We love moving the furniture around to suit our needs. We ate dinner outside, under the heater (!!), with the Tigers on tv. Awesome way to end the day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What a difference a day makes.

Cold and rainy yesterday. HOT and sunny today. Welcome to Michigan!

Here is what has been accomplished in one day. Tomorrow (weather permitting!?) the concrete will be poured where you see gravel. There will be concrete incorporated into the walk out to the sun deck as well.

Still contemplating the fate of this area. Not sure how I feel about the shape &/or size yet.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's been a long time...

Since I've posted, hasn't it? Well...

We're still here. Keeping busy, traveling, enjoying spring (again and again and again!). I feel like I've had 3 springs between Cali, our South vacation and (finally!) here in Michigan. I have to say it's been a treat. I think Spring may be my favorite season.

So here's what's happening at T(o)KC. Kent is busy working on the patio and a floating sun deck! Yup.

I'm going to try to keep posting updates of the "build" as we go. There's lots still to be done: concrete patio, limestone bench tops, landscaping and more! I'm finally beginning to see it all come together and have a vision for it all.

Also, I have to say that K was correct when he said, "This is a pretty big deck." At the time I didn't think so, but now? Yowza! The parties we will have!

This is the view currently walking up from the sun porch. 
Spending time doing research on what plants I want where. 

Temporary rest stop.

Walking from deck to sun porch.
Imagine new gardens and a path! husband is building me a sun deck! 
The new view from the kitchen table.