Frugal Friday at The Holland Museum

With six kids, we enjoy every sale that we can find! =)

Birthdays will be here before we know it, and I was delighted to see the low prices at

The Holland Museum gift shop.


Where else can you find unique gifts while honoring my Dutch kinsman by saving so much money? 🙂

Seriously, I sincerely hope to see you emerging from the Museum with a smile on your face and a gift shop bag in your hand!

This is my eighth and final post in honor of my beloved museum.

The previous links are available at the bottom of this page.

I leave you with some final looks at my favorite place in Holland, Michigan; with a sincere wish that I bump into you soon…soaking up the beauty and absorbing the history!


Thankful Thursday – An Artistic Escape

Wordless Wednesday – Ancient Medallion

More Toys!


Perspective at The Holland Museum

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

My Hideaway


Thankful Thursday – An Artistic Escape

This Thursday, I am thankful for the artistic escape offered at The Holland Museum in Holland, Michigan.

Paid admission affords patrons the opportunity to sketch The Dutch Masters…or anything else that you are inspired to create.

What an incredibly thoughtful opportunity for a moment of serenity.

If your commute won’t allow you to sketch in person; feel free to take a few stolen moments and simply relax as you bask in the beauty.

HM Gallery Sketching

HM An Artistic Escape photo by Gracie K Harold 2016

What are you thankful for? #ThankfulThursday

My previous posts in this series about The Holland Museum can be found below:

My Hideaway

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

Perspective at The Holland Museum


More Toys!

Wordless Wednesday – Ancient Medallion

More Toys!

I simply couldn’t resist a few more photos of the Vintage Toys on display here in Holland, Michigan.

Additionally, look at all the opportunities available for some quality time:

The Toy Exhibit runs until just after Tulip Time 2016, so hurry on over! =)

More information on The Holland Museum for this and other exhibits is found here.

This is post number five out of seven in this series.  The previous links are below:


Perspective at The Holland Museum

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

My Hideaway



A wave of nostalgia sweeps over me and I remember lazy afternoons in a myriad of antique stores and flea markets, hoping to catch a glimpse of a vintage tin toy.  I snap out of my reverie and smile.  The Tom and Merrill Taylor Collection of Vintage Toys has been extended at The Holland Museum and it is delightful!


Not only is the collection immense, but there are also interactive parts to the exhibit as well.

This kid-friendly collection is heart-warming for kids of all ages!  What a sweet retreat from the hustle and bustle of life (or uncooperative weather). =)

Hopefully you will bring your friends and family for a walk down “memory lane”; and leave with new memories!

If I’m there, I promise I’ll even take turns with the wind up toys 😉

This is my fourth of seven posts in honor of The Holland Museum. The other three posts are listed below:

My Hideaway

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

Perspective at The Holland Museum

Perspective at The Holland Museum

Pour yourself the caffeinated beverage of choice, and relax.

Here’s a fresh perspective on The Holland Museum.


Perspective HM

Perspective HM

A Light Perpective HM

A Light Perspective

An Up-Close Perspective

An Up-Close Perspective

Happy Sunday from Holland, Michigan!

For more photographs, see my previous posts as listed below:

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

My Hideaway

“Lightplay” at The Holland Museum

I love capturing “lightplay” in my photographs.

The following shots were taken at The Holland Museum, in early afternoon, about three weeks ago:

Banister Lightplay HM

Banister Lightplay

Handrail Lightplay HM

Handrail Lightplay

Pillar Lightplay HM

Pillar Lightplay


This is part 2 of 7 this week, featuring my beloved Holland Museum.  Yesterday’s post is located here.

Enjoy your Saturday; and whether you travel as a local or a tourist; get your photography on at the Holland Museum!


My Hideaway

I travel through my town with the eyes of a tourist.

I awaken every morning with the prayer that I will either see something new for the first time, or that I will see something old in a new way.

I roam about town in my free time, discovering and exploring…yet I consistently end up at or near The Holland Museum.  At first glance, it may seem as if my prayer wasn’t answered.  I assure you, it was.  Every single visit reveals something new to me.  Let me explain.

front view HM

When I was a single mom, I would load up my three kids into the car, and we would explore the museum.  The docent would hand us an interactive “i-Spy” print out and we were off in a controlled-not-quite-running pace to locate each item.

After our game was complete, I would gather the children together as we stood in their hushed awe in front of the military display.  I would explain to them why each of the brave men were honored, and I would gently explain why we needed to be thankful to our soldiers and their families. Some of my favorite memories are of their three sets of pudgy hands quietly folded as they stood in somber silence, their cherubic faces reflected in the display case.

Then we would traipse upstairs, following the docent as he or she led us into the world of The Dutch Masters.  My children were immersed in beauty and culture as they soaked up Rembrandt and others with the eager innocence of preschoolers.  On the way down the staircase, we would take turns feeling the coolness of the marble on our hands.

Eight years and a beautiful marriage later, I was sitting at my laptop when the near-panic of fear threatened to wash over me.  I knew that it was time to write my book, and I had everything that I needed to go forth…except for courage.  I ran to my car, and found myself parked in front of my favorite hideaway.

Soon I was accompanied by a kind docent named Roger.  We chatted amicably and he reminded me so much of my grandpapa that soon I was pouring out my fears to him in a torrent.  He smiled gently and said, “Well, it looks like you just need to jump off that precipice in faith, girl!  Go write your book!”.

I did.

I have no regrets…only gratitude for the wisdom of a docent.

This entire week will be dedicated to The Holland Museum, in honor of Roger.

If you’re in Holland, Michigan; come visit.

Tell the receptionist that because of Roger, Gracie K. sent you. 😉

If you can’t visit, I will include a few of my favorite architectural shots for you below.

Soak up the beauty like I do…and remember that each visit paves the way for richer memories on your next one.

Food Stamps, Vacation, & Beauty

My previous posts have shown some of our travels recently, but they haven’t given all of the details.

About a month or so ago, we were told by our then-landlords that we had forty-five days to vacate our rental house.

We had already pushed back our vacation once, and had settled on a time frame for the second attempt.

The vacate deadline fell on the last day of our planned trip.

We had originally planned on visiting ailing relatives by plane down south…until the reality of moving bills hit home.

We were blessed abundantly by a new rental home, loads of help with our boxes, and we marveled as everything fell into place…including a dog sitter.

We had looked over our budget and decided to stay in Michigan for our time alone (without any of the six kiddos).

We were surprised again by the complete failure of our laptop (the primary source of my postings, book editing, marketing, photo editing, and pretty much my right arm).

So, we bit the bullet and bought a new PC plus tablet so that we could sync my files.

All this to say that by the time vacation rolled around, we had food stamps and about $158.00 after we put gas in the *borrowed with permission* car that we were driving.

Mercifully, the car got about 30 mpg.

We found different grocery stores and gas stations along the way that took food stamps/SNAP/Bridge/EBT cards, so we ate a LOT of bologna sandwiches, almonds, and cheese sticks.

(Thank you, IGA Foodliner!)

Our motel had complimentary breakfast included, and we knew from before that Starbucks refills your personal coffee cup for about $2.00.

So, we set out to enjoy our trip and seek out the free/inexpensive things to do in Michigan.

Fife Lake, Michigan was outlined starting hereand our two ice cream cones were less than $5.00 total.

One of the things that we enjoyed in Mackinaw City was walking through the downtown area, window-shopping, taking in the sculptures, carvings, and various art displays.

We discovered beauty as seen below.

Mackinaw City Sculpture

Mackinaw City Sculpture

Tomorrow’s post will also show the free Laser Show that we enjoyed!