Thursday, August 23, 2012


Here is Harvest Moon House with her SOLD sign! 

Today, I took care of setting up disconnects for water and sewage/garbage, as well as the new service/terminated service for electric and gas (there is a one week overlap from beginning at the rental to ending at the house). 

I have contacted an insurance agent for quotes on renter's insurance and auto policies.  There are several reasons for this, the first being that I should have done this LONG ago to see if we were getting the best rates (and for our homeowner's, I found out we weren't ... to the tune of perhaps $250/year!!!).  We will be cancelling our homeowner's and getting renter's, so I might as well ask around for quotes.  AND...our insurance agent died suddenly over the weekend!

We already signed the rental contract and put down first, last and securities last week.  We are hoping that the new landlord will take time out of her revelry to have a ceiling fan installed in the big room, as well as some other (minor) maintenance things.  Fingers crossed!!!  When we gave her all the money at once, she commented that she could now do some things to the house.....let's hope she keeps her word.  A ceiling fan would be very helpful on our utility bills!  

We will hold our moving sale this Saturday.  I believe I have already sold our bistro table and filing cabinet, simply by making a post on Facebook!!!

Once we sell everything on Saturday(again, fingers crossed), that will free up space, in the house & garage and our minds, we will be doing more packing this weekend.  I have been bringing home boxes from work, so has Chris.  He was on a roll, but then it slowed.  He is SUCH a better packer than me...I am going to do my best to help him out this Sunday!  I have also researched the prices on renting moving trucks and found some pretty handy wardrobe boxes that we can buy ~~ no need to remove hanging items from hangers, just assemble the box, put up the included bar and voila!  Just have to figure out which of the 2 sizes to order and then how many!!! 

It is all coming together.  We are very excited!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Wine tastings are a joy!!!  I love discovering new wines to bring home!  We LOVE hitting the Michigan Wine Trail!  We have visited most every winery in the south/southwest of Michigan, plus all of the ones in the Traverse City/Mission Peninsula/Leelanau Peninsula up north.  Michigan, especially in the Fall, is some gorgeous country! 

We have also had the pleasure of visiting many Indiana well as sampling (& buying) wines from Indiana wineries which we haven't visited by attending the annual Story Inn Wine Festival twice.   

This past Saturday, we headed an hour-ish north for some wine & music at Round Barn Winery & Vineyard in Baroda, Michigan.

We headed up on this particular weekend for 2 reasons: the weather was to be simply perfect and there was an event scheduled:

We have had the pleasure of tasting Round Barn wine (& vodka) at one of their tasting rooms a few years back, but this was our first trip to the actual winery and vineyard.  It did not disappoint!  We hit the sampling room straight away, of course!  For $8 you can sample 5 wines/spirits and keep your glass (you also get a $5 chip toward a discount on 3 bottles of wine, 2 6-packs of beer or a growler from the Round Bar).  We are primarily sweet wine drinkers, so we stick with what we like.  We are already fans of the Cranberry wine.
so we didn't use up a sample chip on this one; however, we did use it for a Crantini (3 parts Round Barn Cranberry wine and 1 part Round Barn DiVine vodka), which is delightful and I will recreate myself!  Chris was daring and tried all 3 spirits (DiVine vodka, rum and bourbon) ~ whoa, mama!!!  They are strong!!!  I stuck with the wines and really like the Redel Doux.
 It reminds me of an old favorite of ours from a now-closed winery in Porter, Indiana, called Dune Ridge Winery.  They had a Lakeshore Red which is probably my favorite (even over Oliver Winery's Soft Red).  When we found out Dune Ridge was closing, we rushed over to buy a case of wines, more than half of which were the Lakeshore Red!!

After sampling, we headed out to the green to listen to the live band.  We hit the Round Bar, where Chris tried the hard cider, which was a bit too tart for our liking, and the sangria, which was pretty good.  I decided to try one of Round Barn's beers.
The Summer Wheat is similar to Blue Moon, but not as tasty, I hate to say.  Too bad they didn't have a hefeweizen as that is my favorite style of beer. 

We went to the top deck of the Round Bar to enjoy our beverages while listening to the band, who were quite good!!!

When the band took a break, we had finished our drinks, so we decided to walk around the grounds a bit before heading off to New Buffalo for dinner.

We tried the El Rancho Grande....and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.  The margaritas were small & not potent, while the food prices were high and the portions small.  Not to mention, it was just before 5 when we got there and Chris asked if we could sit outside.  The crazy server lady didn't hear him and she started to seat us in the general dining area, so Chris asked again.  To which she replied that no, not until 6.  Well, I wasn't about to sit in the no-atmosphere, surrounded by families with kids dining area, so we followed her back to the front and asked to be seated in the bar.  We were there maybe 20 minutes, when lo & behold, another server (quite possibly the owner) sat 3 tables in the outside seating  .... it was ten minutes after 5!!!!  Needless to say, we were none too happy about that turn of events!  We won't be back to El Rancho Mal!

We didn't let that spoil our day, tho.  When we went to the downtown of New Buffalo, we discovered a tasting room for another of our favorite Michigan wineries, Warner Vineyards, in Paw Paw.  Looking forward to heading up there to purchase some of their Holiberry!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Anticipating Autumn

Our favorite season is FALL!  Love it like no other around the Mojica household! 

The most pumpkins I have ever collected!!!!

My very own Sincere Pumpkin Patch (sign made for me by my honey!!)
We have many year-round decor that is Fall-inspired.  With our move into the rental house, which is located smack-dab in nature, we are going to add even more autumn touches to our everyday decorating style.  

This morning, I did some searching on Better Homes & Gardens for ideas.  Let me share some gorgeous pics I snagged from their site.

I love having mums, pumpkins and coleus in planters for our entry!
Keeping this in mind for the one flowerbox outside our bedroom at the rental.
My next pumpkin patch will include a wheel barrow for a display similar to this one!!
Love this idea for bringing the outdoors in!
As if I needed another reason to buy pumpkins...but I cannot refuse the white ones!
We usually have Indian corn displayed on our garage..this Fall, I think it will be on the deck at the rental.
Funky-shaped pumpkins, different color pumpkins...I love them ALL!!
There are some built-in shelves in the rental, I believe I will buy some small pumpkins and display them this way!

I am itching to get in to the "new" place to decorate!  It is going to be a busy time for us as we close on our house September 15th and that is the day we get the keys to the rental house.  There will be plenty of cleaning at the new place before we bring in our stuff...and then we will begin the work of Fall decorating ~~ soon to be followed with our Halloween madness! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

THE Lake County Fair

Yep, around here we know when summer is close to an end because the Lake County Fair comes around!  I have been going to the Fair since as far back as I can remember.  My parents took us, then I went alone with my girlfriends (it was the social highlight of the summer!!!) and now Chris and I make the annual event! 

We have some traditions, of course!  To begin:

We each get a corndog that is slathered with BOTH ketchup and mustard! 

We walk around the Midway and peruse through the Industrial Arts building and the 4-H entries (crafts, veggies, the biggest pumpkin!!!).  This year, we tried honey in the comb!  Chris recently mentioned he wanted to give it a taste and, lo & behold, there it is in one of the 4-H buildings for only 50¢ a sample!!!  The honey was so very sweet and then you have this waxy comb to chew on (and soon spit out)!  Glad we had something new added to the mix this fair season! 

We visit the horses and ponies, the goats and the fowl, the rabbits, and most years, the pigs and cows.  There is always a sow who has given birth to a litter at the Fair and we like to go see the cute little piglets!  Sometimes, they come close enough for a little petting! 

We ALWAYS play the Mouse Game.  And it is ALWAYS the same mouse game, run by the same family, where I played as a kid with my parents!!!  I often play my dad's numbers and if I had stuck with them this year, I would be the proud owner of a stuffed black sheep!!

We tried a new food this year: Butterfly Fries!  Essentially, it is a potato that has been peeled very thin and in almost complete strings, so it is curly.  THEN, it is covered with cheese and bacon!  Holy Yum!  Thankfully, we decided to share a small size!  It was plenty!  Plus we had to leave room for:

We shared this, too!  But, in all honesty, I could eat a whole one myself!! 

Some years, we have forgone the elephant ear for its cousin, the funnel cake!  So tasty, but messier than the elephant ear, in my opinion.

It is always a gastronomic affair for us!  And I really only eat a corndog and elephant ear at the Fair, so I really anticipate its arrival!!!  

It's hard to believe that we are into August and with the sale of our house and the need to find another place and the time we will spend packing, purging, yard sale having and moving, it is going to be the end of September before I know it!  (And then I will be blogging about another enjoyable day at the Pink Ribbon Society Breast Cancer Awareness Tea ~~yes, it is almost that time again and I am collecting RSVPs and money "as we speak"!)   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hoping for a SOLD sign...soon!

It has been a bit of a whirlwind the past couple of weeks.  We had an offer on Harvest Moon House on July 27th, which we countered.  They came back with a 2nd offer and we countered that with 2 options.  They agreed to one of them and our house went through an inspection this past Saturday.  We don't have the results, yet, but we remain confident that all should be well and that we will close on the house September 15th, with one week thereafter to be fully moved out.

So......we have been looking for a rental in Valpo, where Chris works and where I might attend grad school.  We have also toyed with the idea of buying in Valpo and are going to see a few prospects Thursday nite with our friend and (new) realtor, Bart. 

I do have a lead on a fantastic rental house in Valpo (that I found on Craigslist) and after Chris and I spoke last nite about how he should continue to look for a job at universities in Chicago, we are leaning strongly toward our original plan of renting for a year.  It is what we would have done when moving out to Colorado, so it isn't crazy.  We just aren't sure for how much longer we want to be tied to Northwest Indiana and owning a home would put us at a slight disadvantage should we want to move to Chicago or Colorado.

Purging has begun and packing is soon to follow!   

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