Friday, July 29, 2011

"Sheila and Eleanor/Ellie Visit"

Sheila stopped by for a visit after taking Ellie to the vet. Ellie, exploring the house as we walked back to the sunroom, found everything about it very interesting. I'm sure, due to Copper's scent everywhere. We settled into the sunroom, closing both pocket doors behind us, so that Ellie was confined with us in that space.

After a thorough search/exploration of the sunroom, Ellie settled down onto Copper's bed. Here Copper seems to be wondering why this little tiny puppy has been allowed to use her bed.

But she, too, settles down and gets comfortable. At one point during the visit, Copper got up and also laid down in her bed, sharing it with Ellie. Of course, that its when I decided I needed my camera........and of course, she moved from the bed as I came back into the room. I guess it was too cute of a photo op and wasn't meant to be. ;)

A close up of little Ellie.

Sheila and I had a nice visit.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Neighborhood Gathering"

Last Saturday was another, larger, neighborhood gathering. The day was sort of "iffy" through the morning, but by afternoon, the sun came out and the day cleared up, so the timing for a late afternoon/early evening gathering was perfect.

Here is Becca being held by Jyothi. The gathering was held in the backyards of Rob and "his other side neighbors", Rick and Susan.

Theron (left), looks on as his 3 kids check out something, with Justin, Susan's son talking to someone not in the photo.

Katy brought her "trainee" for a bit of mingling. Katy is doing the preliminary training and when she is done, the pup will move on to another trainer.

Neighbors from other parts of "the hill" from left to right are: Robin, Elspeth, and Bruce.

Javon and Theron......

Angela came back "to the hood" for the gathering, too.

Here I am keeping Andy from "flying" his middle finger at the camera. Some "kids" just don't grow up. ;)

From left to right: Rob's sister, Laura, neighbors Jeanan and Doug, and Laura's husband, Gary.

Jerry, Annie, with husband, Bob on the right (her left). :)

Left to right: Ethel, Lucy, and Pat.

Another view of the gathering.

Linda, from down the hill, and Alf, from down our street.

We had a very nice time. The weather, the friends, the food and drink....."priceless". ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

"The 1st Weekend Gathering-Friday Night Happy Hour"

Jyothi, with neighbor Rob's sister, Julie, stopped by for happy hour on their way to the movie, Harry Potter.

Rob, Made', and Julie's husband, Dan. I'm "shamelessly" plugging my appetizer...sourdough sun dried tomato pesto garlic bread, with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and sautéed' mushrooms, for "build your own mini pizzas. ;)

Mary (center), with friend Sarah, and her husband, Greg. Mary, Made', and their friends were stopping by for a quick visit prior to leaving for Fort Atkinson. They were going to see some musicians at Cafe' Carpe.

Bill and young companion (also forgot her name) chat with Rob as I welcome Rory and Linda.

Rory and Linda brought us a gift from Door County. The sign is perfect for us....."Come Gather on our Porch". ;)

Charlie was busy watching friends Karen and Phil's baby girl, Sabina, along with being Mom for Griffin.......she did get some help (a little) from a few of us, but was "Mom in charge".

A wider view of some of the group from the left: Rory, Linda, me holding Maddie,(neighbors Jamie and Zack's little girl), Sandy, Joyce, Joe, and Terri, Jyothi's Mom.

Another angle of the group to include Terri's husband and Joythi's Dad, Roy. ;)

Friday night happy hour was an enjoyable time, but it was "just the beginning".......we had another neighborhood gathering the next day in Rob's/Susan and Rick's, backyards. Photos tomorrow.....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Nothing Much Today....."

No photos, and nothing new in our lives. The heat wave continues here in Wisconsin, along with the rest of the midwest, tying the record high here in Madison today of 97 degrees, but not breaking it. A cool down is expected today.....only 91 as the high. ;)

Be safe and try to keep cool.......

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Our daylilies in the backyard are beautiful this year. Here are a few photos of them.

This one is in the rain garden right outside our sunroom windows.

These, too, are in the rain garden.....

I planted a bed of various daylilies along the fence. This small trumpet is one of my favorite. I have another small daylily, Stella De Oro, next to this one,but she blooms early and has exhausted her blossoms already. I do not have any photos of her beautiful variegated trumpet.

Also in the rain garden.....

Another angle of the daylily from photo #2.......

Even with this very warm weather, they are doing extremely well and continue to bloom.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Charlie's Birthday"

Charlie's birthday was last Sunday and we didn't let it go by unnoticed. Not knowing if we would be seeing her to celebrate her special day with her, I baked and took over to her house a "birthday brownie". She and Lonnie surprised us later by bringing it back, along with plates and silverware. Don immediately went for the candle lighter......"clicked" and happy birthday was sung.

I'm sure she will get her wish from that blow out! ;)

As the brownie was being cut and served, Rob and Griffin were spending some quality time together, too.

Once again, Happy Birthday Charlie!

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Rod and Sandy's New House......"

Friends, Rod and Sandy, bought a new house. Of course, we had to go and check it out. ;)

Here I am with Rod and Sandy in front of their new, "envelope" house.

Which also happens to have a very nice pond and waterfall right outside the front solar space.

The main entrance brings you into the large solar space, and from there the main living area is accessible via 2 doorways at opposite ends of the leading into the kitchen/dining area and the other into what will be Sandy's hobby/sitting area.

Right now, this LARGE hot tub is in the sitting area and her hobby room is behind the wall at Don's back. The hot tub and wall are to be removed and replaced with glass French doors, which will allow brighter light and better air flow into the hobby room.

Sandy and I are standing in the center of the house. The staircase leads up to what will be the master suite. It has a door leading out onto a balcony above the solar space and also a door which leads outside at the back. The house is built somewhat into a hill, so their access to the outdoors at the back, is almost at ground level.

Behind us is the living room, which has a wood burning fireplace. Their hope is that they will be able to have a fire in the fireplace and that will be enough heat to balance what is gained by the solar space. If things get too cold though, they also have a forced air furnace for backup.

I LOVE the house! As I told them, I am absolutely GREEN with envy. We look forward to our next visit after the remodeling has been finished, and I know I will be even MORE envious! ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Home Again and at Happy Hour!"

Rob is "sipping" some tequila that I had infused with Habanero Peppers. I didn't mention this earlier.....but when we were in Iowa City, we ate at a Mexican restaurant called El Banditos. Delicious food and signature margaritas. What made their signature margaritas so special was the pepper infused tequila that they used, which they did themselves. Our waitress was happy to tell us how to infuse our own tequila, which I did upon returning home. Rob was the 1st to try it.......

And yes, it IS special.....he had a bit of a breathing/talking/coughing issue afterwards, which was EXACTLY my reaction to my 1st taste of El Banditos "spiced margarita". Even though the tequila is VERY hot due to the Habanero peppers, it IS TASTY! Jyothi, a neighbor from down the hill, also takes a sip, but when asked if she wanted a margarita made with it, she preferred one from "plain" tequila. ;)

Marti and Rebecca were able to make our happy hour last week. Don and met them at last years Bioneers conference here in Madison. Also in this photo is Jyothi's father, Roy.

The rest of the group, all couples with "youngin's" are as follows from left to right: Jamie, with 2 month old Maddie, husband Zack (back to the camera), Charlie, next to Jamie, Daria, with daughter Tala, Lonnie, with son Griffin, and Ben, Daria's husband. Ben is not shunning the group, but facing Rob, having a serious conversation from the looks of it. ;)

A close up of our 2 little friends, Tala and Griffin. Both are extremely well behaved, happy kids, and enjoy their time at happy hours.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Millstream Brewing Company, Amana, IA"

Next stop after the woolen mill was the Millstream Brewing Company. As you can see by the sign, it is the oldest microbrewery in Iowa.

As we walked towards the front door, we heard a repetitive noise, not loud, but continuous. The noise came from the machinery of the bottling plant, which is just off the small lobby of the brewery and seen through a large window. This truly IS the whole microbrewery!

Another view of Millstream Brewing Company........

We chose what we wanted to for Don, and a cherry soda for me. They also make several sodas, too, and we sat outside in their "beer garden" words, not theirs. ;)

A broader view of Amana, IA, which is the largest of the 7 Amana villages.

After leaving Amana, we drove through a few of the other villages, stopping at this woodworking/basket shop. We had fun climbing up and posing. ;)

Remember Lilly Tomlin on Laugh In? We immediately thought of her, too. After actually looking around after our "photo session", we saw the shop has a large poster with Lilly sitting in this chair. :) She had been brought over to the shop before performing in Iowa City specifically because of her ongoing "Edith Ann skit" on Laugh In.

For those of you who would like to go down memory lane.......

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"The Amana Colonies......"

Tuesday, the morning of our last full day in Iowa City, instead of eating at The Brown Street Inn, our bed and breakfast, we went to the famous Hamburg Inn. I say famous, because it is so well known by Iowans, and has been here for years. This is the 2nd Hamburg Inn.....the other one was torn down in an urban renewal section of downtown. We have actually eaten here before when we've driven through Iowa City on our way to Des Moines to visit Don's relatives. It is a little out of the way, but a side trip down memory lane for Don is a fun thing to do, for both of us.

Tuesday was our day for exploring the area around Iowa City by car. Not far from Iowa City, are a number of small villages that are called collectively, "The Amana Colonies". Don told me that they were originally settled by Amish but if that is the case, they have long gone and only the quaintness of the villages remains. It is a pure "tourist" area.

I received this from Don later today:

"The busiest of Iowa's seven Amana Colonies is both a living historic monument and a shopping heaven.

Shoppers in the Amana Colonies.

It's obvious from one look at the shop-lined streets of Amana, the largest of the seven Amana Colonies, that modern commerce is in full flower there. Even so, the first question asked about the villages is: Are the Amana people Amish?
And no wonder — the people of the Amanas spoke German, lived simply and adhered faithfully to Scripture. Many still do. But no, they never were Amish."
This is the inside of the working woolen mill. The multiple racks with spools of warp on them will be understood more easily in the next photo.

The warp is wound from the spools onto huge spools, which in turn are used at looms.......

This enclosed area is where the woolen fabrics are woven. As I mentioned earlier, this is a working mill. We happened to be there when it was lunch time so we missed the employees at work on the machines.

The same size spools also hold woven fabric as well.

Another loom that is weaving one of their plaid fabrics.

Not only was the woolen mill a place to buy woven articles for ones household, it had small clothing departments, too. We found some very interesting pieces of "outer wear". Notice the "resigned" look on Don's face after I asked him to pose with this "stag" on his head?

Oh how easy it is to look ridiculous! Foxy....... ;)

A smellier version of the old Daniel Boone Coonskin cap.......

By now, I was "just horsing around"........(Oh no! Stop me!!!!)

How more American can one get than with this Bison?

A too small version of a Russian fur hat.

One would think we'd visited our next stop before trying on the hats, but we did indeed do all of that hat modeling after drinking only coffee and milk for breakfast. ;)

Tomorrow, the Millstream Brewing Company........