Friday, October 31, 2008

"Continued Construction....."

Believe it or not, the following photos show only 2 days of construction on the walls. Each wall or panel arrived complete and is lifted into place, attached, and they move onto the next one. VERY cool!

These first 2 were taken near the end of day 1. This one from the intersection of Cross Street and Briar Hill, showing the front.

And this one towards the rear of the house from Briar Hill, where the driveway will enter the lot. I'm told there will not be a garage, but will have a carport.

Day 2 from the rear of the house.

A side view on day 2 from Briar Hill.

This truly is an amazing process. I am anxious to actually be able to walk into the building (yes, I know....trespassing) and see what it feels like inside, looking out. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Slips, Socks, Yarn, and Things..........."

Don planted his slips that he'd taken from the "over 30 years old" coleus. The original plant was given to him by an old friend "back in the day" and it continues to thrive. Many of you have seen pots of it on our deck.

Here we have Thing 1 and Thing 2. Lonny and Charlie had a Halloween costume party to go to on Saturday night, so came over to have a photo session prior to their leaving for it.

Wouldn't Dr. Seuss be proud? :)

Here are a couple of pairs of socks that I have knitted using my hand spun yarns. Yes, I'm pretty proud of them. :) The top pair is 100% Merino Superwash (a blend of black, grey, and tan), and the lower pair is 100% Icelandic Sheep Wool (a blend of grey and brown).

I just finished this 100% Merino Superwash, "Blue Sharpie", 2 ply yarn. This was also spun to knit socks. After weighing this yarn and comparing it to the last batch of sock yarn, I had achieved more yardage with the same weight of roving, which means (I hope!) that this yarn is thinner and more consistent in size.

When we were at Don's family reunion in Des Moines last July, his cousin Kim, had taken many small cuttings from their Grandmother Anderson's Christmas Cactus, planting them in small paper cups, and making them available to all of the family. We brought this one home and set it next to the Aero garden so that it would receive more consistent light. After harvesting the last of the lettuce which I had growing, and until we receive the new water pump that has been ordered for the garden, the slip has been setting under the gardens light, soaking up the "grow rays". :) It has been growing by leaps and bounds!

Monday, October 27, 2008

"A San Francisco Visit......"

Jonathan and Maniphone took their boys, Simon and Henry, to visit friends/relatives in San Francisco, CA. I took the liberty of "borrowing" a few photos from their trip. ;)

The "formal" family portrait: Jonathan, Maniphone, holding Henry, and Simon, with the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

A ride on the famous cable cars........

They knew that Becky, Sean's girlfriend, worked at Green's this past summer for her internship, so paid the place a visit. Simon, with Henry demonstrating his "Vanna" move......

Another view of Green's with Simon "hanging out".

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Biddy's Reception....."

The University of Wisconsin has a new chancellor, Carolyn "Biddy" Martin. This is the first time ever, that a reception of this type, was held to welcome the chancellor to the university. It was held in the Kohl Center. As is normal in such a facility, the sound system was not the best for speakers, although when Biddy gave her talk, her voice was easily understood.

We met up with Barb and Geoff. They, like Don, both work for the university as well. Since the weather has turned cooler, I have now broken out my "winter uniform" favorite black sweater. :)

Geoff, Barb, and Don.........

It was MUCH easier to see Biddy on the screen than on the stage.

Yes, there was entertainment, too. The World Percussion Ensemble was performing outside as we walked up to the Kohl Center, and then performed again when we were seated. VERY loud, but VERY good, too! This photo does not show their group, although 4 of the members (in yellow shirts) also play in the Wind Ensemble, shown here on the left. The Concert Choir, standing on the right, also performed a number of times. All of the groups were excellent!

This is the view we had at our seats. I think you will now understand why it was easier to watch Biddy on the "big screen". ;)

The reception was fairly well attended. Most of the seats in this section were filled, as well as some to the sides. It was an interesting time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Yesterday at the Dog Park....."

Copper and I met our friend Barb, and her dog Koshi, at the dog park yesterday. She had to work, so we met them at 7 AM. It was still dark when I left home, but progressively got lighter as I drove to the park. This is the sight that greeted me when I drove into the parking lot. Absolutely beautiful!!!!

Barb and Koshi arrived soon afterwards. We were the 2nd and 3rd cars in the lot. We never did see the other person or their dog(s). It was VERY cool and thankfully, I was dressed for the temperature, wearing 4 layers of clothing. Barb had advised me to "bundle up". :)

On Tuesday, I decided it was time to deal with the windows I took from Andy and Angela's last summer, when they replaced the windows in their house. I had somehow figured they would fit perfectly over the mesh wire of the chicken coop, giving the coop a "cottage style" look. What was I thinking??!! They serve the purpose and I guess look as good as the plastic sheeting did, but hopefully the coop will look better when I paint it next Spring. Right now, it seems a little "trashy" to me. Maybe with a flower box or 2 attached to it somehow, eh?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Saturday Afternoon......"

Last Saturday afternoon, Don and I went down to the Chazen Art Museum. We'd been there on Friday night as well, to hear a talk given on Mami Wata, a water goddess, originally from Africa. Mami Wata has traveled the world, due to the African slave trade, with each country or mixing of tribes, tweaking their beliefs and subtly making her a "local" goddess. After the talk, there was an opening reception, but it was a costumed event, so we chose to wait until Saturday to see the exhibit.

Saturday was "family day" for the exhibit, and they had numerous performers from around Wisconsin. This group (sorry, but I do not know any of the names of these groups) is from Milwaukee. All of the rhythm, was supplied by the 5 drums in front of the stairs. The girls were energetic and the lure of the percussion beat infectious.

Another group that performed was from Madison. This was their first dance, with the woman's costume giving us a preview of how colorful and elaborate the costumes were to become in their next numbers.

This was their percussionist and the only source of rhythm. The person who is responsible for the exhibit is behind the drummers head dress in the brown sweater. His name is Henry, and is the husband of a c0-worker of Dons.

This is probably the clearest photo of the group. Unfortunately, for the sake of taking photos, they were a VERY active troupe, but they were exciting to watch because of the high level of action.

This is a very blurry photo, but I included it because of it gives you an idea as to the size and elaborateness of their costumes.

And this photo gives another view of the size and variety of each of their costumes.

The exhibit is very interesting and I would recommend seeing it. It will be at the Chazen Art Museum through sometime in January.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Saturday morning started off with a small gathering on the deck. The day dawned beautiful, albeit cooler, so the propane heater was turned on for some warmth. It makes a HUGE difference!!

Gathered together from left to right are: me, Sherry, Charlie, Rob, Michael, and Lonny. Of course, Copper and Jillian were also in attendance. ;)

Sherry, Charlies mother from Nevada, is visiting, and was able to join us for some "quality" time. :)

Progress continues on Todd and Robins house down on Cross St. and Briar Hill.

Saturday night, we went out to dinner with Cindy and Steve, who are both spinners. Cindy spins using a wheel, while Steve is a "spindle" spinner. Here is Cindy trying out my Kromski Minstrel.

Monday, October 20, 2008


While on our bike ride last Sunday, we rode over to Olin Park, stopping at the boat launch to take a look at this floating marvel. There had been an article in the newspaper about it. The original plans for it, had been to be a screened patio at the end of a pier. Upon inspection, the DNR said "oh no it can't", but were good enough to work/cooperate with the owners in changing it to a pontoon "barge". I imagine that it was quite a feat to do that, as it is not a light weight building. It turned out very nice and looked like the guys were enjoying their time on it.

A view of Union Terrace that I have not posted before. Don "LOVES" his trike for city riding. ;)

Another photo from the same spot as the previous one. I thought the color against the "ominous" castle looked interesting. Our friend Geoff works in this building. Years ago, Don used to swim in the pool there. I'm not sure if it is still in use or not. The rules at the time, were that one HAD to swim in the nude. I find that VERY unusual.........

Our newest neighbor, Christina, had a gathering to have us all come over to meet her partner Christin, who will be moving here in January. Christin is now finishing up school in Arizona, where Christina did her under grad work. (This is the house that Maniphone and Jonathan owned when they lived in our neighborhood)

Christina and Christin carved pumpkins, so a closeup was required. :) This was carved by Christina......

And this was carved by Christin. We were told that it took a bit of time..... close to 3 hours!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Rainbow Fleece Farm Open House....."

Last Saturday, Penny, Sheila, Don, and I, drove down to Rainbow Fleece Farm, which is near New Glarus, WI, to attend their open house. As you can see, we had a pretty good time in the car. :) Sheila's birthday was in September, but I had not given her the present I knitted for her until Saturday, which was a felted purse in red, one of her favorite colors.

Here is Penny with Sheila's birthday purse.

Rainbow Fleece Farm is also a carding company. A carding company takes clean shorn fleece and turns it into roving. Penny with me in the carding building.

Me, Penny, and Sheila, on our way to check out the sheep.

Some of the farm's sheep. More were inside the barn, where the light was not the best for taking photos.

Open House continued tomorrow.......

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Construction and Happy Hour Visitors...."

The construction on the house around the corner is moving along very quickly. Since this photo was taken, the forms have been removed, insulation put against the inside of the foundation, and the dirt filled in.

We had a couple of friends stop by during happy hour last Friday. Andy and Benjamin, are "usual attendees", but Drew and Nathan, along with next block neighbors, Kim, Brian, and their daughter, Ruby, also came down.

Not to be outdone, Lonny had his "baby" sit on his lap also........

Jillian is a far cry from the little puppy in this photo, which was taken back in July 2006. She is just as lovable, but not "quite" as easy to have on your lap. :)