Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Hostess Gifts....."

Don and I drove down to Des Moines, Iowa a few weeks ago to attend the Iowa State Fair with some of his relatives. We stayed with his cousin Sherry, who IS the Hostess Supreme! Staying with her is like staying at a 5 star bed and breakfast.....LITERALLY!

When I heard that our plans were finalized and we were staying with Sherry, I immediately began knitting hostess gifts for her. This sequence of photos is her opening them. :)

What a surprise, eh? A pair of knitted socks from my circular sock machine!

Here she is modeling her custom knitted CMS socks. She did this automatically, too, with no prompting from either of us! :)

Her new felted Market Bag!

Hopefully Sherry will find many, many uses for using her new bag.

We also took her a loaf of home baked sourdough bread, too. And not to forget her pups, Lucy and Corky, we took them home baked chicken/cheese sourdough dog treats. They went over quite well. ;)

Tomorrow.......the family gathering.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Visitors from North Dakota!"

You guessed it! Maniphone, Jonathan, Simon, and Henry came to Madison for a visit, staying, once again, at the Arbor House, which is just down the hill from us.

I went for a ride with them one of their days here. You may be wondering what Simon is staring at.........

As we rode down the ramp from the bike path, we saw this hawk. I call it a hawk, but I do not know my "birds of prey". It sat there, not giving us much more than a glance, even when we came walking back to take some photos.

Jonathan and Henry didn't come back for a closer look, but stayed where they came to a stop while Maniphone, Simon, and I walked back for photos.

A close up of a somewhat "hidden" Henry............

We got downtown a bit too early........the Veteran's Museum wasn't open yet, so we went into the new Fontana's Sporting Goods Shop. I enjoyed walking around with Simon and Henry, checking out all the tents and other camping equipment (they've been "backyard" camping with Jonathan). It was time well spent and we managed to talk Jonathan and Maniphone into spending a little cash on some new head lamps for "night reading". ;)

After that, we rode up to Capitol Square and visited the Veterans Museum. It was my first time there and I found it very interesting. The displays were all extremely well done, with very life like figures in action poses, etc. After that, a ride back down State Street, where they graciously treated me to lunch.

I had a very nice time (as I always do when visiting with them), and am very pleased that they took the time during their busy schedule to spend time with me. Poor Henry wasn't himself that day due to the heat. Thankfully, he perked up that afternoon after resting in air conditioning, and was ready for their trip to Milwaukee and a Brewers game the following day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"A Little Spinning......"

I dyed some "Border Leicester Cross" fleece a few weeks ago and did some spinning. The color of the dyed fleece looked similar to the pinkish/salmon color of house insulation.........not "exactly" what I was going for but I figure I will ply it with white or possibly try a 3 ply this time. That remains to be seen. I do have more fleece carded, the white, which is ready to spin, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. All in good time.

This photo was taken without the flash and perhaps shows the dye color a little truer. The previous looked a bit orange in comparison.

On another fiber note.......I was thoroughly impressed with the customer service of Great Northern Weaving Company, Kalamazoo, MI. I called in an order on Monday morning and my supplies arrived TUESDAY afternoon! I was so impressed that I actually called to tell them. www.rugwarp.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"A Proud Grandpa Day........"

My daughter-in-law, Julie, is great about sending us photos of Abigail, our granddaughter. We saw her in April, but as little ones tend to do, she is growing and changing daily! Bear with a proud Grandpa, OK? This post is all about her. ;)

This was taken by my son, Patrick, after they'd gone grocery shopping earlier this Summer. It was our first time seeing her as a "big girl", sitting up and holding herself upright on her own. Notice the bib she is wearing....yep, one I knitted for her. :)

Getting ready to exercise her parents upper body muscles and lunging skills.........

A day on an inland lake. Julie says she LOVES the water! I'd say that is an excellent thing for a little girl growing up near Lake Michigan to have, don't you?

Julie, Patrick, and Abigail...........

Can't you just hear her mind working.......saying to herself, "I know this thing is supposed to move....why isn't it?"

Hmmmmmmm.......the caption for this one? Don suggested...."I like this hat better than the one with feathers!" It worked for me. ;)

She is working on her table manners, but sometimes the food needs to be "experienced" as something tactile, too.

Yes, she is becoming more and more mobile, too. For those of you who are concerned about fashion, notice how well the bib coordinates with her ensemble. Yeah.....another of Grandpa's. ;)

The room on the other side of the barrier is always intriguing. And yet another of Grandpa's bibs!

Mom Julie and Abigail...........

Abigail's first barbecue..........Hmmmmmm........Patrick told me she was a very good girl during their time there......now I understand why. ;)

On a Friday that Julie had to work (Patrick has Friday's off), Patrick and Abigail drove down to Pentwater, MI, to visit with old friends from South Bend, IN, who have a vacation home there. The following photos are from their visit. (yes, another of Grandpa's bibs)

You must wear a sun while boating.............

Of course, you need to have the sunscreen in hand, too!

A favorite of mine........

We'll see Abigail in October for her 1st birthday. Hopefully, she will not be in a shy stage. Julie's parents will be there, as well, so I will have to practice my sharing skills, too. ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Another Cousin Reunion............"

After 45 years, Don and his cousin Robin, met again. The last time they'd seen each other had been at a large family gathering of his fathers side of the family. Ironically, the same gathering that he'd seen Carol, his other cousin we visited with on the trip, whom he'd not seen since then either.

Here they are looking through the photo albums that Carol loaned Don so that he could scan some of the photos.

Here goes the hand language again! It must be something to do with their fathers genes, eh? ;)

We had a WONDERFUL time on our trip. As you may recall, it was my first time to that part of the east coast, nor had I been to New York State ever! I enjoyed seeing where Don grew up, meeting Guy, a childhood friend, visiting Heather, and of course, meeting his cousins, Carol and Robin......all were highlights of our trip. With the genealogical information that Don found while on the trip.....and more from correspondence after we got home, I'm sure there will be a return trip in our future.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Canandaigua, New York......"

Our overnight stop in Palmyra, NY, was to visit another of Don's cousins that he'd not seen in 45 years. Photos of that reunion will be tomorrows subject .

After calling and making plans to meet for dinner, his cousin Robin suggested we drive down to Canandaigua, NY, until time to meet. We were so happy that she did! Lake Canandaigua is beautiful! We drove out and parked on City Pier, which extends out into the lake for quite some distance, walked around, taking in the views/sights and just plain enjoyed ourselves. ;)

Here is Don at the end of City Pier. The small island behind him in the photo is Squaw Island, which has some important history. The next photo will explain that for me........

The Squaw Island informational plaque. (double click to enlarge)

Another historical interest on Lake Canandaigua are the "boathouses"......one section of them shown here behind Don.

How convenient and nice of the city to erect these informational plaques for we "tourists", eh? (once again, double click to enlarge)

Each one is so different and had it's own personality. Unfortunately, the owners of most of them were very private and had all the windows covered inside so nosey "tourists" were not able to see inside. But......we were able to see into one as we "strolled" slowly past.......the owners were there and had the door open. ;) Theirs was very cool inside....much like a family room, decorated with a nautical theme.

The boathouses created/formed 2 pedestrian "streets". The previous one and this one.

This is the bay between those 2 streets, which shows the reason they are called boathouses. Individual boats are moored inside of the structures behind large doors, just as we do for our cars in a garage.

A very cool part of Canandaigua, New York, wouldn't you agree?

Sadly (or happily?), tomorrow's post will be the last one involving our vacation of 2010.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Into the Adirondack Mountains....."

The day after our drive into Canada, we took a full day to explore the area around Malone, NY...........part of which, was a drive into the Adirondack Mountains. We drove south to Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter olympics. Unfortunately, no photos were taken there, but several ones were snapped while stopped at the Adirondack Park Visitors Interpretive Center along the way. A truly beautiful area!

I took this photo as I walked from the parking lot..........

Closer to the Center..........

And closer. The Center is HUGE! Not only is it a Tourist Information Center, but it also has rooms for classes, etc.

This is the deck off of the main interior public area...........

My "poser" in a "Adirondack Chair".

One of the views from the deck............

As we drove back to Malone, we drove into a rain. A few sprinkles that turned into a WHOPPER of a thunderstorm! It rained so hard that our visibility became zero, forcing us to pull to the side of the road and stop! That was bad enough, but then it started to hail as well! When the worst passed and we were once again able to begin driving, the landscape looked like late Winter with drifts of hail against buildings, etc. Mother nature, once again, had shown us that she has a mind of her own. ;)

We thought our little storm was bad, but when we drove west out of town the following morning on our way to Palmyra, NY, we saw storm damage for quite a few miles. Many trees were blown over or large limbs broken, but thankfully, no "major" damages to buildings that we saw.

Tomorrow.......our last "full" day in New York State.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our Last Cemetery Visit of the Trip........"

Our last cemetery was, surprisingly enough, just down one block on rue Anderson, from the Anderson house. It was fairly easy for us to find some of the Anderson burial plots, while a couple of others were a little more elusive. Elusive due to the fact that there had been some vandalism at the cemetery and a couple of Don's family's markers had been knocked/tipped over. He came prepared though.......he had a small mirror in his pocket that he was able to place under the leaning stones and read their carvings.

Once again I left him on his own for more thorough exploration. Those vicious Canadian mosquitoes, plus it was HOT, drove me back to sit in the car with all the windows open (even the back hatch window....first time ever!)

Next post..........The Adirondack's!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"It's All About The Water......"

As it said in todays title.....it was all about the water. It was harnessed for its power! Here is the informational plaque set above the "race". I know there is some glare, but I think it can be seen well enough to give you an idea as to the reason behind building the mill here.

A mural painted on one of the walls of the seating area/garden above the race.

The old mill buildings on the other side of the race, which have been renovated into the Hotel Plaza Valleyfield and senior citizen apartments.

The race/rapids have been developed into a kayak practice course. It was being put into use while we were there.

These 2 tubes bring water from Lake Saint Francis in a never ending source of power! Notice the helmeted kid about to jump into the flow? He and a friend were there to "body surf" the rapids.

Here they are taking a "somewhat " sheltered rest.

Another view of the powerful current...........

I'm sure this is more of a historical landmark than a functional smoke stack, but then, I do not know that for a fact.

One of the kayakers coming up the trail to put in closer to the "headwaters".

He and another guy getting a good workout..........

Tomorrow......our last cemetery visit of the trip.