Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Last Michigan Visit Post....."

There was one bad experience during my visit in Michigan. Julie had taken their dog to the vet while Abigail was taking her afternoon nap, and I sat quietly reading in the living room. All of a sudden, there was a HUGE BANG and this glass window, which I sat facing, SHATTERED!!!! Can you say "heart stopping"?

I jumped up, ran over to look outside, and this is what I saw. A grouse had flown into the window! Unfortunately, it lay dying of a broken neck as I reached the window.

A few small pieces of glass had fallen to the ground, but most of the shattered window had fallen into the space between the interior glass and the storm window.

I don't remember ever seeing a grouse up close, or for that matter, from a distance either. I have no idea as to why it had been startled and flown into the window. Perhaps it saw its own reflection as an intruder and was flying at it to chase it away? We'll never know.......

Thankfully, Abigail did not wake up through all of this drama. I truly am very surprised about that, as she was sleeping not 10' from this window, inside her room, with the door cracked open a bit. The sound sleep of innocents, eh? :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"The Last Night of My MI Visit......."

Daddy Patrick reads to Abigail.......

While Mommy Julie is in the dining/fiber room trying out my "fringe twister" on a scarf I brought with me.

I helped her get it set up, showed her how I do it, and left her to gain her own rhythm.

As you can see, she became a "Twisted Fringe Master"! (Mistress?) ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Valentine's Day Continued......"

After we ate at the China Buffet, we headed back towards Brethren, stopping by the horse farm where the kids ride, to feed the horses some apple slices. All of the horses were out in the pasture, clustered around the hay feeder, but as we walked towards them, a couple came forward to greet us.

Rustling plastic bags means the same to the horses as it does to Copper......FOOD!

Julie was quite popular......

Julie hugging "Cruiser", her mount when she rides.

Patrick and Abigail visiting "Buster", whom Patrick rides when at the farm.

From here, we headed back to their house. It would be my last night visiting, as I was heading home to Madison the following morning. I have a few more photos left to post of my visit. ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Valentine's Day at the China Buffet"

The 4 of us drove into Manistee on Valentine's Day to eat at the China Buffet. As those of you who have/had children know, going to a buffet is so much easier when you have a small child along....instant food gratification! No time to sit and get grumpy or fidgety. Plus there are always people moving about for "people watching". ;)

Abigail ate a nice variety of fruits and veggies, and possibly some Chinese creations, too. But the best is, of course, dessert! Here she is taking over her Mom's cup of ice cream.

Mom Julie went and got Abigail an ice cream cone. Boy, did her eyes light up!

I think it was just after I took this photo that the ice cream cone fell into Abigail's lap, disappearing under the table from view, but surprisingly, it didn't land on her clothes and Patrick/Julie were able to pick it up and quickly wipe up the mess on her chair, allowing her to continue to enjoy her cone. As I said, this all happened soon after I took this photo........but I had started taking a video......and got the whole episode recorded! :) Unfortunately, I wasn't successful in trying to load it onto the blog this morning. I tried for over an hour and it wouldn't load.....sigh....there is only so much this guy can do with computer technology. ;)

Things did get a little messier as the cone melted, but with Daddy Patrick's help, most of the dripping was contained. Abigail shares pretty well. ;)

And as melting cones do, the bottom became soggy and it was easier to eat the cone from the bottom up. ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Haircuts and Bangs Trim......"

Patrick, Abigail, and I have gone to get our hair cut/bangs trimmed, the past several times I've visited. We drive about 5 miles north from Brethren, to a small town called Kaleva, where Sandy, the barber, owns and operates her shop.

Sandy said that this marble ramp is the most played with toy in the shop. As you can see, Abigail was not an exception to that observation. ;)

I had my haircut first, and I finally remembered to take a photo of Patrick while he was in the "adult" barber chair. The shop is a small one (I took this photo sitting next to the front window), but sees a lot of activity.

The second barber's chair is for a child. How many of you can say you've seen one like this? I'd not seen one before and don't remember anything other than a booster chair set across the arms of an adult barber chair for me as a child. Abigail took the horses reins and settled in.......

Abigail was quite good about this whole operation. We were there on Valentines Day, as seen by the various red gift bags that Sandy had ready for pickup. One was picked up by a guy while we were there, and he was quite effusive in his thanks, so I'd guess Sandy might be considered quite a life saver for the husbands and boyfriends of Kaleva. ;)

Never a peep out of Abigail. She just closed her eyes and went with the flow......

Even as trimmed hair fell tickling her face she continued to stay steady and not wiggle.

I was able to get quite a few good photos. What a grimace, eh?

Steady as she goes.......

Whew! Finished! Now she could wipe her face. :)

Oops! Not quite finished. Just a few more snips while Dad helped keep her hands away from her face.

Finished with a big "high five" with Dad and one for Sandy, too. :)

I don't enjoy getting my haircut and really do put it off as long as I can, so my visits to the barber in MI, with Patrick and Abigail, make the event more palatable. And the price of $9 helps, too. ;)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Weaving-Brethren, MI, and Madison, WI"

I had read about a "warping trapeze" on one of my Yahoo weaving groups. After reading more about them, I bought 2 of Katie Reeder Meek's books, "Warp With a Trapeze & Dance With Your Loom", keeping one for myself, and sending another to my daughter in law, Julie, who, you may remember, is now weaving on the Harrisville floor loom that I began weaving on with my adventure into weaving.

My hope was that my son, Patrick, would build her a warping trapeze, and while I was in MI visiting, Julie and I would warp her loom using the warp trapeze, sharing the 1st time experience together......which is exactly what we did. ;)

In the excitement of getting the trapeze set up and working, I'd forgotten to take photos of the beginning of the process and didn't realize until we were halfway completed that I needed photo documentation! :) The board that the warp is hanging over is an addition to the original design. I figured we needed it to allow us the same amount of tension on the warp as when it was hung over the board at the top. I believe that this warp is the BEST tensioned warp that I have ever been involved with in warping a loom. TRULY a wonderful experience!

Instead of building one myself, I had ordered one from Bruce, of Purrington Looms ( and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

Here at home, I did add to my weaving equipment. My "warp stick catchers" from Glimakra (, arrived Monday afternoon and I attached them yesterday.

They fit nicely on my Oxaback Floor Loom ( and I now have not only a "warp stick catcher", but also a nice place to store those extra warp sticks not in use.

Now......if only the warp trapeze would arrive.........

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Photos From My Michigan Visit"

I was actually quite good about having my camera with me most of the time during my MI visit. Not only to catch special moments.....but I've got a blog that I want to include photos in! ;)

Here is Copper with one of her "When are we going home?" looks. She enjoys being able to explore the woods outside, but definitely is not used to the commotion that a 2 1/2 year old makes when she is inside the house. ;) I do think, that she missed Morgan, their Chocolate Lab, too, who passed away since our last visit in October. Copper and I took part in raising Morgan when Patrick lived at the cabin with us, then we raised him by ourselves when Patrick worked several seasons in Yellowstone National Park as a Park Ranger. I'm sure there lingered some smell of him which perplexed her by his absence.

On a happier note, Abigail and I had some nice snack times, too. :) Here she is making a start for peeling a "Little Cutie", but that's as far as it went.....she wouldn't eat any, she just liked peeling them. :) She does, however, LOVE her cottage cheese!

Julie was wearing this knitted headband when Abigail showed some interest in trying it on. Another photographic opportunity. ;)

Snack time again. This one began with applesauce.

She also had several phone conversations using an old cell phone the kids gave her. Who she had her little chats with is still unknown, but they seemed interesting and polite. ;)

Oh yes, I still have more of my Michigan trip to share........ ;)

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Snowmobiling in MI"

Snowmobiling in Michigan did take place while I was visiting, but my part in the event was purely as photographer. ;)

Here is Patrick with Julie's snowmobile, which has the "sled" attached for Abigail. Not to worry, she will not be in there all by herself. Julie will be riding with her, plus Patrick installed a seatbelt in the sled as well, so they'll both be strapped in.

They didn't go on any woodland trails, but slowly went around their property. :)

Yes, Miss Kitty had to go along, too. Abigail rarely goes anywhere without Miss Kitty.

I was standing on the northeast corner of their property and they just emerged from the southeast corner, after making a wide loop behind their house and garage.

After unhitching the sled, they all went for a short ride on just the snowmobile.

It was a gorgeous morning.....just right for photo documenting. ;)

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Michigan Visit Continued......"

Another thing we did while I was visiting, was to buy a new mattress for the camper (guest house). Previously, I had taken the table down and kept the bed made in the booth, but after a few hours on those thinner pads, I found many pressure points on my body. Patrick measured the area with the couch pulled out and found a full sized mattress would be a perfect fit. So Saturday, he and I went to a local furniture/bedding store and came home with a new mattress. The campers couch pads were easily stored underneath the couch frame (that's them peeking out from under the blue comforter). Patrick removed the table's bracket from the floor and I now have that area set up as a "C" shaped couch, using a small table of Julie's as a coffee table/foot stool. The guest house continues to become more comfortable each time I visit. :)

"Connect Four" is a popular game with Abigail. Or I should say, the pieces are......she loves to fill the slots and then have them all fall at once.

She also has a small computer that will give her a head start on using a real laptop or desktop computer, too. The mouse works as well!

Abigail has a couple of magnet boards, similar to "Etch-a-Sketch", but newer versions/designs, that she loves, too. She thinks it great fun to erase Grandpa's drawings and giggles heartily. Of course, I add shocked sounds/looks that only urge her to do it again and again. ;)

This is another of her magnet based screens. She really has pretty good motor skills already.

Giggle and tickle time!

I love the sound of little kids laughter. I kiddingly told the kids that they were torturing her with all the tickles (which we did when our kids were little, too), but you know as well as I do, when the tickling stops, the little ones come back for more. ;)

Tomorrow, more of my Michigan visit...........