Sunday, June 29, 2008

"My Absence and Riders Before the Storm....."

Some of you faithful readers may have been wondering why no new posts last week. :) I have been in Michigan since last Monday, arriving back home on Saturday. My sister and I had been working on cleaning out our parents home so that we could get it ready to be put up for sale. We FINALLY accomplished this , finishing up last Friday!! The house will be listed as of today, although a "For Sale" sign went up on Friday. Tomorrow, the entire house will have new carpeting installed, and hopefully, buyers will flock to see it, and a bidding war will commence. :) What wishful thinking, eh? :)

I am so happy that it is all done. It will be so nice to go to visit my sister and not have to work on something.

Now to the photos........

The boys of the "hood" went on a bike ride the day before I left, which was Sunday and also the day we had a bad storm during the afternoon. As you can see from the photos, the day started out beautiful, but turned nasty later in the day........the boys, of course, were many miles from home, having ridden down to New Glarus, WI.

Here is Lonny, coming back from "trying" to get Michael moving a little faster, since everyone else was ready. Michael's clock usually ticks to a different time than everyone else's.

Andy strapping on his head gear......

Rob being patient.....

All set to go, posing for their "take off" photo. From left to right: Lonny, Andy, Rob, and Michael.

Charlie and Angela sitting on our deck patiently waiting for the boys to leave. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"A New, Mean Machine, in the Hood!"

Jeanan has bought herself a new moped/scooter. She was bit hesitant her first time out on it, but that didn't last long at all. :) She will soon become a familiar sight buzzing by (after, of course, buying a helmet!). :)

A couple of us got to try it out. I have wanted one for years, but so far, only look at them from afar. I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't as "large looking" on it as I'd anticipated. I'm sure I could find one that would be a perfect fit! :)

Don, who has always been against my having one.....went for a ride on it, too. He admitted that he had enjoyed his ride, too. :)

Really enjoyed it!!!

Meanwhile, back attending the "animals"....Charlie had to keep an eye on Lonny and Rob. Oh, and, of course, Jillian and Bobaloo. :)

It isn't normal for me to write a blog entry on a weekend, but since I will be off line for a few days, I decided to go ahead and write one. Later..... :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy 31st Birthday Lonny!"

Last night, Charlie organized a small gathering for Lonny's 31st birthday on their front deck. He had some of his favorite things, pizza, Bell's Beer (from Kalamazoo, MI), and chocolate cake!

Charlie, Lonny, Jillian, and myself.

Charlie had found a chocolate cake recipe which called for 1 cup of WAS delicious!

Toasting Lonny are: Andy, Don, and Josh, Andy's brother in law.

Angela and "little brother", Josh......

Don has been feeling quite a bit of empathy for Angela. It was a struggle to "feel" this much empathy, though.......

Lonny about to blow out his candles........

Charlie with her tasty cake......neat candles, eh?

A photo of the gathering as Don left the party. Andy (seated left), Anna (in front of him), Birthday Boy, Lonny, Charlie (in front), Karen and husband, Phil.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"A Mixed Bag of Topics/Photos....."

As you might remember, Don and I were in Colorado a few weeks ago. Driving home, we made it as far as Iowa City, or more accurately, Coralville, IA, and stayed in a Days Inn, along "the strip". Well, that "strip" and Days Inn are under water. The "strip" is between those 2 rows of diagonal trees, and the Days Inn on the right, with the red roof over it's entry to the office. Don had found these photos from an online news story. What are the chances that it would show exactly where we had been? Pretty slim, I'd bet.

And to make it even more unbelievable......this photo was online, too, and shows OUR room!!! We stayed in the lower room to the left, which is above the mailbox in the photo. Our car was parked right next to that mailbox!! I say again....what are the chances!!!???

This is Anna after an afternoon working at the Lake Wingra "clean up". She's still able to smile.....(her "in-laws" were in town, too!). :)

And.....last but certainly NOT least, is Don, wired up to a heart monitor. He's been having a few dizzy spells so this is one of the tests they have decided to have done on him. He hads to have it on for 24 hours, plus keep "an event" diary, meaning when he ate dinner, went to bed, etc. He gets it off this morning.....none too soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Neighborhood Potluck....."

The rain stopped at the perfect time last Saturday and the neighborhood potluck was able to go on outside as planned. It was held in Susan/Rick and Rob's backyards. Truly, the sun came out minutes before the gathering was about to begin! :)

The gathering in full swing! The usual group from our end of the block was there, but what made this gathering more special, was that many neighbors from the rest of the block attended.

Jerry (in the brimmed hat), Rob, Alf, Tracie behind Alf, Jeanan, Anna (foreground), Ethel, Maude, Sandra, Tom, and Lonnie in the red shirt.

Susan, with Bridgett and Tracie in the background.

Bridgett, Tracie, and Evie.

Michael and Andy.....

Made' and Vince.

Angela and Mary.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Warping the Loom......"

Before I get to today's blog subject, I wanted to mention that I had the pleasure of meeting, in person, Ms. Molly Bee, of In one of her occasional emails, she'd mentioned that the Sow's Ear,, was having their monthly "spinning social", last Saturday. I'd decided to drive out after Don and I had met Penny and Sheila for breakfast (Sheila having recovered sufficiently from her Monday shoulder replacement!!!), to see, if by chance, Ms. Molly would be there, and introduce myself to her. As fate would have it, she was and we recognized each other immediately from photos on our blogs. I had a nice chat with her, met another friend of hers, Donna, and with my goal achieved, drove home.

I am in the process of setting up my loom to weave another "loopers" rug, for Coppers other bed. Don happened to be home at the time while I was measuring out the warp (on what is called amazingly enough, a warping board) and took a few photos. How unusual, eh? :)

Here I am "dressing" the loom with a number of warp threads. I am using my tensioning device that Don had given me for my birthday. It is the second time I have used it and I am very happy with how well it works.

In this photo, I have all of the warp threads on the loom and am in the process of lacing the metal warp rod onto the rod in the apron, which is attached to the warp beam, so that I will be able to wind the warp onto the warp beam evenly, as it is pulled through the tensioning device. Were you able to keep up with that description? :) If not, just take my word that it works well. :) I have all the warp wound onto the warp beam, and now have to thread the heddles and reed, tie the warp onto the cloth bean, and I will be ready to weave! Hopefully, that will all take place this week.

I also finished a pair of short socks that I knitted for Sean's girlfriend, Becky. If you recall, they are both in San Francisco working on their chef internships. I mailed them, along with a couple of other little surprises last Friday. I feel safe in "assuming" that the package will arrive today and that Becky will not see this post until after she opens her gift.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Our Last Day in Colorado......."

Our morning started off as usual over at Donna and Henry's. Donna had gone to get her hair done and do a few last minute errands prior to Cindy's wedding that afternoon. Had I mentioned Donna's daughter, Cindy, was getting married while we were in Colorado? It was to take place that afternoon, and when we left the reception, we would be saying our goodbyes to the family, until the big family reunion in Des Moines, being held in July.

This is the view from Donna and Henry's back deck. In the photo are from left to right: Don, Henry, and David.

Don standing by the water feature that Donna and Henry built. They also have a waterfall that extends from near this pond, down to a lower patio area. The yard actually has 3 levels. The main yard, the lower patio, and the lowest level which has a shed and some more garden area.

Don and Michael.....

"The Three Stooges". Michael, Don, and Henry.

Family photo: (L to R) David, Henry, Donna, Jocelyn, Paula Sue, Sherry, Don, and Douglas

The wedding party photo. I only know Cindy, the bride, her husband, Nathan, and Cindy's son, Jacob.

The next morning, Don and I started our drive home to Wisconsin. We had a beautiful day for traveling, sunny and cool, which turned into sunny and hot the further east we drove. :) We saw some of the destruction from the tornado which hit Nebraska and Iowa earlier in the week. I 80 had been closed until late on Friday for clean up......luckily, we came through the area on Saturday. Other than that, the drive home was uneventful. We drove as far as Iowa City that day, leaving a short drive for Sunday morning, arriving home by 10 AM.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"College Friend in Denver...."

On the day Don and I went to Colorado Springs to see his Uncle Jim, we had dinner plans with a college friend of mine in Denver. Ed and I had met in our sailing class (fulfilling one of our phys. ed. credits). Here he is with wife Suki, and daughter Alessa. We found out after just arriving at their house, that Suki had become an American citizen the previous day. Congratulations to her on that!!

Poor Alessa had to put up with our photo taking and as you will see in the following photos, finally had had enough! :)

Suki and Ed with Bruno in the middle. He was a very affectionate dog and VERY well behaved!

Here goes Alessa's hand! We had a wonderful evening. Suki is an excellent chef, as I have repeatedly been fortunate enough to find out first hand. :)

Enough is enough! Talk to the hand! :) Alessa was a very good sport to put up with us all evening. As mentioned, we had a great evening. It was so good to have seen them. It had been a number of years since we'd gotten together. I think they'd stopped by at the cabin on their way through Michigan and spent the night. If I am correct, it was the weekend prior to my adopting Copper. Copper turned 8 last it has been awhile since we'd visited in person. Thankfully, email is available......although getting Ed to write is not easy. :) Suki is the correspondent and keeps me up to date on their lives. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Don, the ever present photographer, took this the other day while I was spinning. I am very happy with how the "singles" are becoming consistently thinner. I am now spinning a white roving because I want to try my hand at dyeing fiber. I am not sure what I will use for the dye yet.........possibly Kool Aid? I have been researching online but haven't made up my mind. I have 1 bobbin of single(s)(?) finished, and have to complete the 2nd one, then ply the 2 together. More research is needed....... :)

These are my 3 skeins of yarn that I have spun so far. The one on the left is my 1st attempt, the middle, my 2nd, and the rust colored one, my latest.

If you enlarge the photo, you will easily see that my last skein is more consistently even.

Anna and I had our beginning spinning class last Sunday down in Mineral Point, WI. We were taught to use a "drum carder" (, and these were the fiber batts that I made. I will be spinning from them next, after I complete the white roving. I will post a before and after photo of how they turned out. :) an "add on" photo.....Copper using her new rug. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Colorado Springs, CO...."

As I mentioned before, we drove to Colorado to visit family and friends. Up until now, I have written about my cousin and Don's family from his mothers side. Today is about Don's uncle and family from his fathers side. This is is Uncle Jim and Aunt Helen. It was my first time meeting them and they are a delightful couple. Uncle Jim is an engineer and they had moved around some for his various jobs, ending up in Colorado Springs, CO. He built the house they live in, which sits facing southwest on one of the lower foothills and has a wonderful view of the mountains.

Once again, it is Don's TV. :) Don, Uncle Jim, and Aunt Helen go through some family photos.

His cousin Kim was able to leave work and join us.

His uncle is a very multi-talented man. One of his art pieces is this pair of sculpted giraffe heads. He used his photographs for the details. Did I mention he is well traveled? :)

Family portrait: Cousin Kim, Don, Uncle Jim, Aunt Helen.

Uncle Jim carved this wooden "thing" and demonstrated how it worked. I have no idea as to what it is called, but it has something to do with how it is had a specific wobble when spun one direction and not do a thing when spun in the other. It's purpose? To cause wonder! :)