The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival

It’s the peak time of Spring for migratory birds flying over Lake Michigan to make a pit stop in the Indiana Dunes. The long-awaited annual migration of birders flocking to the lakeshore had finally arrived. As birders since 2019, we have been planning to attend this festival since the 2020 convention was canceled and we […]

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The Chicago Botanic Garden

The summer of 2020 marked the beginning of our gardening journey when Derek and I grew plants from seed packets on the windowsill of our apartment for the community garden plot. Over the course of the next several months, we learned how to grow organic vegetables, fruits, and lots of sunflowers. So when given the […]

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Growing Amaryllises for Christmas

There was no Christmas tree in our apartment this year but that doesn’t mean that we lacked greenery or joyful decoration. Our love of plants flourished on the porch garden with select species transitioning inside as the weather turned. The dragonfruit cactus outgrew several sized pots and our bonsai ficus, acquired circa 2019, received new […]

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Spartans in West Lafayette

Michigan State has had an unbelievable start to their season. Ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings after beating Michigan last week in Spartan Stadium, we were hopeful the team would continue its streak of undefeated games. With Purdue’s campus only an hour and a half drive from Valparaiso and ticket prices much […]

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Art Teachers Unite on Mackinac Island!

Art brings people together. Artists tell stories, bring history to life, and reimagine the future. I consider it an honor to teach art for a living, investing this passion into my students as creative thinkers who become more empowered to take risks, learn collaboratively, and create meaningful artwork. It’s also important to develop myself as […]

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Hiking the Dunes in Sand and Snow

It was so bitterly cold that we wore face masks to shield every possible inch of exposed skin from the ferocious winds that drifted over the dunes. Bundled in layers with our hoods up and snow boots on, we trekked the snow covered staircases one step at a time at West Beach in the middle […]

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The Vermont Family Reunion for Grandma’s 85th Birthday

Long, long ago, so long ago that nobody knows just when or where it was given, the name “Green Mountains” was bestowed upon the range that extends through the State of Vermont…the origin of the state’s name that was given by the French, “Verd-Mont” …most likely by the explorer Samuel Champlain or more probable by […]

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A Night at the 49er’s Drive-In Theatre

It has been a long time since we went to the movies. In retrospect, I cannot remember if the last film we saw in a movie theater was Avengers: End Game, Captain Marvel, or Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker, all of which were released in 2019. While we have both been captivated by […]

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Sculpting from Life

As an art teacher, my goal is to contribute to my community and improve my skills as a life-long learner. The foundation of my teaching is built in refining my work as an artist and seeking professional development. This summer has been an opportunity for me to hone my craft and explore new techniques such […]

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The Quest for Legendary Art on Independence Day

It is a humbling experience to see the work of master artists, just footsteps away from each brushstroke on canvas. No amount of planning, research, or anticipation can replace the sense of wonder when I stand face to face with the same image the artist once analyzed for hours as it evolved from nothingness. The […]

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