Friday, August 31, 2012

"Sourdough Garlic Toast......."

Sourdough Garlic Toast has become one of my "staples" for Friday night happy hours.  I thought I'd take a few photos of the pre-toasting process.   ;)

Baked that morning, fresh loaves are sliced (hopefully uniformly thin).   ;)

The slices are laid out on baking sheets and brushed with melted butter.....

After the pieces are buttered, garlic salt is then sprinkled over the slices, then pans are slid into the oven.

And that is where my photo documentary ends.  People had arrived for happy hour before the process was finished and I was in a hurry to get it out to the deck.  Nothing better than warm garlic toast straight from the oven!   ;)  Come join us and try some.........

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Claire's Silk Scarf........"

Claire's 27th birthday (how can this be possible???) was on August 17th.  We didn't get to see her for her birthday, but sent her a silk scarf that I had woven for her.  She sent me a couple of photos of her trying it on.......

I used Lace Weight 100% Silk yarn from Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill (, which is located just outside of Mt. Horeb, WI, a quick drive from Madison.  They are not generally open to the public, but have an annual open house that I try to go to each year.  However, they will open their showroom at anytime during their normal workday, as long as one calls ahead and makes arrangements.  Very nice people!

Claire reported that she had a very nice birthday, celebrating it with friends.

Just yesterday, we set the date of September 7th for her to come for a weekend visit, so we will be seeing her soon!  She's planning on being here for Happy Hour, so please join us if you can!   ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Our Single Chicken......"

Unfortunately, we only have one hen left of our small flock of 3.  The other 2, both Red Star sex-links (, died within a few weeks of each other.  They were such great egg layers, that I think they literally wore themselves out.  Chickens are supposed to molt once a year, giving them a break from laying eggs, rejuvenating their bodies while re-growing their feathers, but our 2 never did.  They continually laid eggs throughout the winters, even without artificial lighting.  Our last hen, a Buff Orpington, has molted each year and taken that break.

Don has taken to letting her have free reign of our backyard on weekends.  She spends much of that time near our backdoor, but also enjoys the time out of her chicken run eating grass and scratching through the flower beds looking for bugs and other delicious edibles.   ;)

She and our dog, Copper, get along fine.  Basically, they both ignore each other.

I do enjoy seeing Don walk out to the coop each day, or out into the backyard on weekends when she is out of her coop, just to check on her and have a quiet chat.   ;)

She had stopped laying eggs for awhile but has since begun laying them again.  We thought perhaps the combination of the extremely high temperatures this Summer, plus the change of her being the only hen left in the coop, might have had an effect on her.  Here I am "projecting" the human emotion of loneliness on her.......but since chickens are know as being in "flocks", perhaps I am correct?   ;)

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Madison's Gay Pride Parade......"

Don was asked to walk in Madison's Gay Pride Parade with the "Tammy Baldwin for Senate" supporters.  Here he is all set to go.......

As has become tradition in most, if not all, gay pride parades, "Dykes on Bikes" are the first group and lead the procession......

It was very nice to see so many organized religious groups represented, supporting the LGBT community.  I feel it is important to show the photos of these groups.

The Catholic Families supporters were the first, followed by those of Jewish faith.......

Then came supporters from the First United Methodist Church.........

Followed by supporters from the First Unitarian Society.....

Here is a group that I'd not even heard of.....too bad it isn't like AARP.  Once a gay person hits a certain age, we'd get something in the mail.   LOL

The "Tammy Baldwin for Senate" group that Don was asked to walk with came by.  I searched and searched and couldn't find Don anywhere.  I did see our friends Rebecca (black blouse, center) and Elspeth (behind guy in red cap), but Don was not to be found.

As it turned out, he was walking right behind the Tammy Baldwin supporters, with friends, Rory and Linda, who were playing the pipes and drums!

It was hard to get his attention with the pipes and drums playing, but he finally heard me yelling and found me in the crowd so that I could snap this photo.

Then we had more religious organizations showing their support for the gay community.  Here are the Episcopalians.......

And a group you don't hear too much about, Quakers in support of Marriage Equality.

Supporters from the 1st Baptist of Madison marched ahead of another religious group, which I unfortunately, did not get the name of........

The group who got, by far, the loudest applause, was PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).  This is because it is true, that many, many gays who "come out" to their families, are shunned and disowned, and told never to speak or have contact with them again.  Parents and friends of gays who love and support unconditionally are VERY respected by the gay community!

I was pleased to see Madison's Mayor, Paul Soglin, come to the festivities, too.

We were fortunate to have such beautiful weather.  It was a very nice time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Out With the Old......."

And in with the new!  Our old TV set (with a tube!) died last week.  We'd had it fixed several times but decided this was its last hurrah.  We went shopping last Saturday and the new set was delivered on Wednesday.  We bought a 60" Samsung flat screen, high definition, with 3D capibilities.  Even I can tell the difference between high definition and regular programming on this size screen.  ;)  The weight difference it quite amazing, too!

Here is the old TV......

And here is the new........

I added this one to show the amazing picture.......

Oh, the boys and their toys, eh?   LOL

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Last of the Kids Visit......"

After being in the warm and humid conservatory, the rest of the building felt wonderfully cool (it was air conditioned!).  Julie wanted to check out the gift shop, so Grandpa Don and I took Abigail down to a room where we've been for other events.  The room we went to has always been used for Olbrich Botanical Gardens annual seasonal displays, so at Christmas, it is filled with decorated Christmas trees, and in Spring, full of potted trees, plants, and flowering bulbs.  It was so strange to see it open and empty!  The room is HUGE!  ;)

Our job was to keep Abigail occupied so her Mom and Dad could have a few moments to look around the gift shop.  It seems we didn't have to do anything but locate a space for her.  She was quite pleased to be able to push her stroller around without anything getting in the way.

Notice the red cheeks?  Of course, it had been quite warm in the conservatory, but I think someone was getting quite tired, too.

I believe she was not only quite flushed from the warmth of the conservatory, but perhaps becoming overtired from her playing and being active.

In the gift shop, Julie found a stuffed hummingbird for Abigail.

The stuffed hummingbird looked like the hummingbird in the animated Disney movie "Pocahontas".

This is the last of the photos from Patrick, Julie, and Abigail's visit with us.  They left Madison the next morning.  We had a delightful time with them and look forward to seeing them again soon.  Someday we'll live closer and get to see them more often, but until that time, we'll keep up via phone calls and photos.   ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"On to Lunch and Olbrich Gardens....."

After leaving Madison's Children's Museum, we drove over to the east side and ate lunch at Monty's Blue Plate Diner (

After eating, it was on to Olbrich Botanical Gardens (!  The "Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies" event was in progress (butterflies emerging daily from their cocoons) in the Bolz Conservatory, which we thought Abigail would enjoy seeing.

There are also small quail that have free reign in the conservatory, too.  Here I am pointing out a few to Abigail.

Behind us, a butterfly was sitting on a leaf at eye level, so that caught our attention quickly, too.

Here is the little guy we were so enamored with......

The bridges over the flowing water of the indoor stream and pond were a great place to stop and watch the large Koi swim back and forth looking for food.  Unfortunately for one butterfly, it landed on the water and became lunch for one of the searching Koi.

I'm not sure where this look came from, but it certainly is expressive!

We all gathered on the bridges, mesmerized by the swimming Koi.

These "butterfly feeders" were set out around the conservatory.  Abigail didn't quite understand what they were or why she wasn't allowed to play with the brightly colored scrubbers (Mom about to take Abigail in hand).   ;)

Tomorrow....our final photos of Patrick, Julie, and Abigail's visit to Madison.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"My Last Post of the Madison's Children's Museum......"

This photo was taken from next to the climbing structure and towards the front of the building.

And this one is taken from up near the front of the building, looking back.   ;)

The "boxing glove apparatus" in the above photo was connected and controlled by steering wheels in this vehicle's cab where Charlie is demonstrating how they work to Griffin.

Meanwhile.......Patrick, Julie, and Abigail were in another cab of what looked like a small airplane.  This one had music playing and many, many flashing lights and levers where the plane's control panel would be.  As you can see, Abigail was in control and Captain of this flight.   ;)

Griffin came in and became standby co-pilot.

Charlie got one of the museum's associates to take this photo of us.  Abigail was not too pleased with the forced interruption of her exploring.......

The next 3 photos are in sequence and taken by Grandpa Don as he controlled the moveable sculpture pieces of "The Cow Jumped Over The Moon".

It was time to leave and Don took this photo of the entrance into Abigail and Griffin's "age appropriate" area, while we waited for Julie and Charlie to get the strollers and stored bags.

Do you think we look tired and ready for some "quiet time"?   ;)

Tomorrow, our "adventure" continues.......