Friday, November 30, 2007


My son Patrick, received a surprising birthday gift from his girlfriend Julie. Yep, a 13 week old German Shorthair puppy, named Odie. :) Over the past few years, he has talked about wanting one of this breed, so when Julie heard about a family wanting to find Odie a good home, she jumped at the chance.

One of the nice things about having him be a bit older, is that he was already house trained (not sure if there have been accidents, though).

All of these photos were taken last weekend when Patrick and Julie went to her parents for the Thanksgiving weekend. I knew that they also had dogs, but didn't realize a couple of them were also German Shorthairs, too. These photos only show one, but there was another, older dog, in one of the photos. (I asked Don to do some cropping on the photos for me) Looks like Odie can tussle with the best of them, eh? :)

"Whew! That wore me out.....guess I'll take a little break."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Frustration.....then Satisfaction"

Yesterday was a bit frustrating. I had planned on replacing a low dresser with 3 tall wall units to gain more storage. I'd gone out Tuesday and bought 2 of them (having to order the 3rd), planning on putting them together yesterday morning. When going through the directions, I found that it was missing pieces and hardware. I opened and looked at the contents of the 2nd box.....same thing, so then I thought perhaps the units had been re-design and the directions updated, but I hadn't gotten the new version. I had to wait a couple of hours before the store opened....called them, and was told to pack up the boxes and bring them back and they would take a look at them (MAJOR frustration......those boxes were HEAVY!). Luckily, I had taken the pieces out carefully and was able to put everything back in pretty much the same order......AND had packing tape to close them up again. Long story short, their directions from the display unit in the store didn't match the ones I had. Upon hearing that, the manager offered to have the 2 units put together for me "at no charge", but would have to charge me to assemble the which I said thanks but no thanks and got my money back.
When arriving home, I decided to try using the old wardrobe (from the front room) I'd brought over from MI, switching it out with the low dresser. After moving them and sorting through clothes (Goodwill.... here I come!), I actually have some empty drawers! Things worked out for the best after all. AND, at no other cost for me than my time..........I am very satisfied with those turn of events. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Creative Cakes....."

Last month, the culinary school that Sean and Becky attend, was invited to hold a "Creative Cake Show" at a small college in Saginaw, MI. Many, many hours were filled with building and rebuilding fragile pieces before the cakes were ready for the show....and of course, some accidents happened to a few of the pieces as they were transported to the show......BUT......."The Show MUST Go On!" :)

Becky and Sean at school working on their cakes.....

Sean's "Old Mill". These are not just empty constructions like a gingerbread house.....they are true cakes that have chocolate sides, etc. If I remember correctly, Sean's cake was a spice cake. Each student had to make 2 easy and a more difficult one. This was his more difficult cake.

Sean's 2nd cake......the "easy" one. :) It has a fly fishing reel, fish hooks, bobber, and a net.....all made out of chocolate or some sort of sugar confection.

This is Becky's difficult cake. She said the bottle broke on the way to the show, so upon arriving she had to reconstruct it as best she could before displaying it.

Becky's "easy" you see the dog's hind end coming out of the leaves?

The hardest part for all of the students, was after the show as people came around and were allowed to taste the cutting into them or by just breaking off a piece and popping it into their mouths. :) I guess now is the time to have "future chefs" get used to the idea of people devouring their creations.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"A Visit!"

My son, Sean, and his girlfriend, Becky, came to visit us this past weekend. Sean has been to Madison a few times, but this was Becky's first time here, so naturally, being the tour guides that we are, we took them to the "hot spots" of our city. :)

We started , and did most of our looking around, at shops along Monroe Street. Our first stop was at Art Geko".

Then on to "Orange Tree". Both Sean and Becky are in culinary school in Traverse City, MI. Don and I bought Sean his "starter kit" of knives at "Orange Tree" a few years ago.

After leaving "Orange Tee", we stopped at "Barriques" for coffee and a snack. EVERYONE knows how hungry one gets while shopping! :) Becky also found a very cool "French press coffee mug" that she later went back and purchased. She works at a coffee shop in TC, but had seen nothing like the one she found here.

After "Barriques", we went across to "Trader Joe's" for a look around, then headed down the street to "Wine and Hops". Sean has begun brewing beer........ :)

With both Sean and Becky being vegetarians, they were interested in "Willy Street Co-op" as well. (MY son a vegetarian????!!!!) They also are into buying local produce if possible, so were curious as to what Madison has to offer.....unfortunately, it is too late in the season for the farmers market to be on the square. Hopefully, they will visit again in the markets "high season".

Our last stop was along the top of "Observation Drive". We were very lucky to have had such a beautiful day for photos. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007


Don and I were invited to join our neighbor Rob's family for Thanksgiving. It was hosted by his sister Laura (foreground) and her husband, Gary (not shown), at their home outside of Verona, WI (about a 10 minute drive for us).

Far background is Dan, Julie's fiance' (another sister of Rob's), his brother John, Rob, Carol (his mother), and hostess Laura.

Host Gary and his father in law, Bob (Rob's dad).

Far background...Tory (sp), Julie's oldest daughter, barely seen Rachel, her youngest. Foreground...Travis next to mom Julie, and matriarch, Carol. I believe that is Dirk with his back to the camera (Carol's oldest son).

Hostess Laura and myself "at rest" between dinner and dessert. :)

And Don letting dinner "settle" before getting his dessert.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"A Neighborhood Giant Is Gone...."

Jeanan, from down the block, had to have an old tree removed from her backyard. Although, it was basically healthy, it had a huge split down the trunk. She was truly lucky that it had not come down in one of the storms this year.

Now you see it.......

Now you don't.....

It was quite the job to remove it. It took the tree crew longer than anticipated to get it all down. And, of course, the day they were to start the process, wind gusts of 50 mph were predicted, so they had to contend with that as well.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Back Home from Michigan...."

The reason I did not post last week was that I spent all of last week in Michigan, leaving Monday and coming home on Friday. My Dad was in the hospital for about a week and is now in rehab for an unspecified amount of time. Things are kind of "up in the air", so we have to play everything by ear.

Don and I have had a busy weekend. We went to a movie on Saturday afternoon...."Across the Universe". EXCELLENT movie!!! That same night, we had tickets for the Cirque Du Soleil performance of "Saltimbanco". VERY enjoyable! And Sunday, we worked outside. Don was on the roof, blowing leaves from the gutters, flushing the downspouts and then washing down the deck, while I worked in the garage, rearranging it to move the mower to the back and the snow blower to the front for easy access, "just in case". :) I'll have 1 more day of leaf raking/blowing, then should be finished for the season.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"We Go a'Visitin"......."

A few weekends ago, Don and I rode our bike/trike over to visit Sara, Travis, and their new baby, Jonas James, or at times, called "JJ". As some of you will recall, Sara and Travis lived next door to us. They found and moved into a WONDERFUL house about 1 1/2 years ago, not too far away from us. We sat in a fantastic sun room, off of the dining room, which as you can see, was lit perfectly for a photo session. :) This was our first visit to see them in a long time, and our first time meeting Jonas.

Sara and Jonas......

Proud Papa Travis holding his little man........

I got my chance to hold Jonas as well. :) He was very quiet and content for most of the time. When he got a little fussy......that's when it is nice to have Mom and Dad close by, eh? :)
Travis called is Suncle Mike and Suncle Don........a nickname meaning "sort of uncle", thus "Suncle". Clever , eh? :)

I had knitted Jonas a stocking cap and mittens. Don and I figured we'd better get them over to them, since the weather has been a bit "nippy" as of late. :)

Suncle's Don and Mike, Sara holding Jonas, and Rocky, one of their 2 greyhounds. See what I mean about perfect lighting for photos?

Friday, November 9, 2007

"Photo's from Amy....."

I received an email from Amy yesterday. She sent a few photos of the twins, Sam and Lilly, which I thought I would include in the blog today. It is unbelievable that they are already over a year old!

Below is Sam in his 1/2 giraffe, 1/2 xmas stripes costume. He's working on a few holiday's at the same time, eh? Who can blame him for being anxious for the "holiday season" to begin.......but right now, he's anticipating the Tricker Treaters. :)

And a "puuuuuuuurfect" lil' Lilly Kitty, eh? :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"A Happy Birthday and Happy Halloween...."

A Happy Fourth Birthday to Simon!!! It is amazing to me (and I'm sure his parents, Jonathan and Maniphone, would agree), the he can be 4 years old already! Maniphone is great about letting me know when more photos are added to their "Shutterfly" account. It is really nice to be able to keep up on how the kids are growing, see the renovations on the house, and Jonathan's new woodworking projects......although, we'd rather see them in person on a more "daily" level. :)

The next 2 photos are Halloween photos of Sheila and Penny's dachshunds, Tika and their new pup Frankie. Tika rules the roost and is teaching Frankie the fine art of getting a treat "as needed".....more for being cute than doing anything least that's how it goes when I go over to let them out while their Mom's are working.

Weiner #1- Tika

And Weiner #2- Frankie
Remember you can "double click" on the photo and it gets larger.......

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Party Animals....."

A few more photos of "party goers" in wigs......Of course, Angela looks a natural, but strangely, so does Lonnie. He reminds me (for those of you old enough to remember them) of Prince Valiant.....OR....Buster Brown. :)

I do NOT know this man!!!!!

Bridgett, Angela, Andy, and Erica......

Can we say "cheeeeeese"? Bridgett actually took this photo of she and Don.

Some of the "beauties" at the party.......the one which I did NOT attend because I was in Michigan! Angela, Erica, and 2 unknown to me........

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"Wigs 101...."

So........what is it about a wig? Do "blonde's" really have more fun? Ahhhh, Michael and Lonnie.........

Too much "weight" on her head? Or is it the "spirits" affecting Charlie's eyes?

Bridgett is always the "sassy" one, eh?

Hmmmmmmm.........maybe if Don's beard were a bit darker?

What might Rob be about to say? The possibilities are endless I'm sure........

Monday, November 5, 2007

"Happy Halloween!"

Made' really got into the spirit of decorating for Halloween this year! He constructed a Balinese goddess, although I do not know her name. I do know that I wouldn't want to be on her wrong side!!! Her body is paper mache' and her head is a carved and painted pumpkin.

Michael stopped by, too. REALLY amazing how one's looks are changed by "teeth", eh? He went from a handsome graduate student, to a "Hello Deliverance Boy" in a matter of seconds. :)

The Halloween vigil......... Don and I, along with neighbors, Rob from next door, and Susan, from 2 doors down, sat out on the deck with our candy bowls/baskets during the Trick or Treat hours. It was a slow night....good thing we shared good company and "spirits". :) Lonnie and Charlie also joined us with their candy bowl, leaving it with us to pass out their candy, while they went and played volleyball.

Our last Trick or Treater was Rosa. She and her Mom, Becky, drive over to see us each year. Rosa, with help from her reading buddy (an older student at Rosa's school), made her "White Tiger" costume this year. She and Copper are good buddies.

AND.........Happy Halloween from North Dakota! Holiday greetings were sent from Maniphone, holding Henry, the "Little Pumpkin", and Jonathan, holding Simon, the "Skeleton Boy".