Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Abigail's Poncho!"

Abigail has now grown enough to be able to wear the poncho that I knitted for her last year.  Julie posted these 2 photos on Facebook.  Thank you Julie!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Griffin's Birthday Party....."

Sunday was another gorgeous Fall day!  We had Griffin's birthday party to go to, which was an earlier event than most would expect.  The party was from 10-12.....early because of nap time....not only for Griffin, but for many of the younger "attendees".   ;)

Here is the cake that Lonny and Charlie made for Griffin.  Isn't it amazing!?  And it was delicious, too!  I would expect that, of course, as Lonny's favorite dessert of all is "cake", so he would make sure it was tasty.   ;)

Regular blow up balloons came out first and after playing the "keep the balloon off the floor" game, the mylar birthday balloons made their appearance.

Time to get a group photo!  Unbelievably, that went quite smoothly and with full cooperation!

Don got this nice family portrait......

Having a birthday and being a good host can be thirsty work!

Neighbor Joe will get to do this "fatherly" role full-time in the near future.  Yep, he and Meghan will be bringing another addition into our neighborhood family in April.

Griffin beginning to open his presents with some help from Dad.  He looks so serious, doesn't he?   ;)

Believe it or not, Charlie was still her happy, patient, smiling self at the end of the party!

A good time was had by all!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Becky's Birthday Lunch......."

We took our friend Becky, and her daughter, Rosa, out for lunch to celebrate her birthday on Saturday. We drove to Mt. Horeb to go to The Grumpy Troll Brew Pub (http://www.thegrumpytroll.com) which we have enjoyed each time we have gone there.  It was a UW game day and the place was packed.....so much so that we actually had to wait about 20 minutes!  We'd never had to wait that long before, but it was a game day........

We'd waited outside and had admired the scarecrow display.  I'd forgotten to mention what a gorgeous day it was, too!  Bright sunshine and warmer temps up in the 60's!  Absolutely wonderful!

As we left, we'd noticed that someone had been quite creative with one of the gourds and the scarecrow!  QUITE creative!  We had a good laugh!

On our walk back to the car, having parked in front of Duluth Trading Co (http://www.duluthtrading.com) (which Becky and Rosa had not been to before, so we went in there prior to eating), we past a bookstore which looked interesting, so backtracked and checked it out.  Don and I were attending a birthday party on Sunday for our little neighbor, Griffin, who had celebrated his 2nd birthday earlier this week, and book was a possibility for his gift.

What a delightful bookshop!  The name of it is The Prairie Bookshop.  Unfortunately it does not have a website, although I did find this photo of it in my Google search.  ;)  The entrance is on the corner and uses the second store front, too.

Don and I found a great book for Griffin and Becky found a book, too.  ;)  I'd sat down and looked at the "Tiny Homes- Simple Shelter" book shown in the photo, which I enjoyed very much.....perhaps Santa will read this post, eh? (http://www.shelterpub.com/_tiny_homes/tiny_homes_book.html)

We had a wonderful time with Becky and Rosa.....as we always do when we get together.  :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Spool Rack....."

I received a call from a neighbor, Keyena, the other day.  She had a friend that was "giving away", yes, I said "giving away", a weaving rack that held 60 spools of warp!  Was I interested?  No hesitation on my part and I immediately said yes!  She gave me his number and I called right away.  When he answered and I told him who I was and why I was calling, he started laughing!  I guess between his posting an email offering the rack, Keyena must have seen it right away and called him, getting the information about it, then called me, and within minutes, I called him.  It was here at home within an hour of his posting about it.  ;)

It is in beautiful shape, made from oak, and came from Ohio.  I don't know who it originally belonged to, but Stan, who gave it to me, told that it came from a family who attended the very first Quaker Meeting House in the State of Ohio.  Whether it belonged to one of the founding families of the Meeting House, I do not know, but it is interesting to think about, eh?

This is what it looked like prior to my cleaning it.  All of the spools of warp were quite old, and the warp broke easily, so they went into the trash.

I was so lucky!  Thank you Keyena for thinking of me, and thank you Stan, for being so kind and giving it away, letting it live on in another weavers home!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Last Photos Of My MI Visit....."

Driving into Traverse City, MI, via Silver Lake Road, allowed me to turn onto the new road leading into The Grand Traverse Commons.  I stopped and took this photo.  The storm out over West/East Bays and Mission Peninsula brought a sharp contrast against the spires of The Commons.

I drove through The Commons and over to the marina on West Bay, taking another photo of the rain over the Bay and Mission Peninsula.

The marina still had a few boats in it, but no activity...... as I guess one would expect on a day in early October.  I decided after taking this photo to drive up Leelaunau Peninsula along M22/ West Bay Shore Drive, which follows, as the name implies, the shore of West Bay.   ;)

I decided to drive all the way up to Northport and see if I could find a house that we'd seen online and thought interesting.  Interested as vacation renters, not to buy.  ;)  Check the link to it....you'll see why.   ;) (http://www.vrbo.com/88488) I was quite lucky and found it almost immediately.....the Village of Northport isn't too large.  :)

I tried stopping at the coffee shop in Northport, but seems this late in the season brings about "unusual" hours for the local shops.  So, disappointed that it was closed, I headed back to Traverse City, stopping when I saw this small bayside park.  When I Googled the 45 Parallel I came up with this:(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/45th_parallel_north), and followed it to this: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traverse_City,_Michigan), which brought to my attention some information that I hadn't known.

I hadn't realized just how much last Summers drought affected the water table until seeing how far away the water was from the "normal" shore.  So amazed in fact, that I walked out to the waters edge to take some photos.  Granted, the "drop off" to the water isn't very steep, but to see this large expanse of what should be underwater was quite an eye opener!

Here is what it looked like to the North.......

And to the South towards Sutton's Bay.  Hopefully, the rain that we've had since last week has started the trend to bringing back the water table to where it should be.  Here in Wisconsin, we're still 8" behind normal.......

On my way back to Brethren, I stopped at another road side park to take these next 2 photos.  The body of water is the Manistee River, but the Hodenpyl Dam, which is located south of this roadside park, has backed up the river creating what is called Hodenpyl Pond, which is what you see in these photos.

I thought these photos really showcased the beauty of Fall color in Upper, Lower Michigan.  ;)

The following morning, I headed back to Wisconsin.  I had a wonderful visit!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Kaleva and Crystal Mountain....."

On Tuesday of my visit in MI, both Patrick and Julie had to work, and Abigail was going to daycare, so I decided to drive up to the Traverse City area for the day.

I stopped at the Kaleva Post Office, so that I could take a photo of Julie in her new position as a postal clerk.

Here is the Kaleva Post Office.  When I was about to take this photo, a woman arrived and got out of her car, looking at me suspiciously, almost hostile.  Believe me.....I explained to her very quickly about my daughter in law working here, etc!!!!   ;)

Luckily I arrived at opening time and was able to take this photo quickly as the Post Office seems to be the center of early morning activity!

I'd been in Kaleva before, but basically only driving through it on my way to Traverse City from the kids house.  Little did I know that there is a historical site and museum!  I only found it because I happened to turn onto the street where it is located to go around the block and head north!  I did stop and take a photo of it, not knowing anything about it beyond reading the historical sign's information.  After arriving back home, I Googled the museum and found these sites very informative.  Who knew!?

I took another detour on my way to Traverse City, stopping at the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort....I guess I'm supposed to add "Spa" to the name now.

Unfortunately, the day wasn't as sunny as I'd hoped it to be for taking photos of the Fall color, but you can still see the wide variety, even if it is a bit muted.

Although a gray day, the brilliance of the reds came through loud and clear as seen on the tree in the distance, past the cabins in the foreground.

I was a little luckier when I took this photo from up on the mountain top.  The sun broke through the cloud cover a little more and was a bit brighter.......

Tomorrow, Traverse City and the drive up to Northport, along West Bay on the Leelaunau Peninsula.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Dinner and Present Opening......"

As I had mentioned yesterday, after the party at Abigail's daycare, we went out to dinner and continued the celebration of Abigail's birthday.  This was taken of Patrick and Abigail at "Traks" (http://www.traksbar.com), in Brethren, MI.

After dinner and a short drive home, Abigail was ready to open her gifts from Patrick and Julie.  Her new snow pants/bibs will help keep her nice and warm on snowmobile rides this Winter and the triptych puzzle will exercise the problem solving part of her brain.   ;)

And of course, the new art supplies will help her be creative!

Her new game, which features Miss Angelina, the mouse ballerina (whom we've watched many times on video), was a big hit, too!

After opening her presents, it was again, according to Abigail, time to get out of her cloths and be free! LOL  She did, however, put on her robe that Grandpa knit for her last year.  It is still slightly big on her, but with it being so soft and cosy feeling, she can cuddle up in it easily.

Tomorrow, my drive up to Traverse City........

Monday, October 15, 2012

"Monday Of My Visit........"

Monday was Abigail's birthday, and even though we did do some celebrating of it earlier by opening her presents from me, and she had opened her gifts when they arrived in the post from her Grandma and Papa, too, Patrick and Julie had held back theirs until the real day.  :)

Abigail's birthday dawned bright and beautiful....a little cool, but otherwise perfect!  Patrick had the day off, as did Julie, and the plan was that Abigail would go to daycare as usual (although later in the AM), while we drove into town for her cake and ice cream, which would be shared with her daycare buddies.

We had some down time, so we stopped at the barn where Julie rides, for her to get a short ride in prior to driving into Manistee.

While Julie took her horse back to its pasture, Patrick and I walked to the back of the barn so that I could take a photo of the fall colors.  The woman who owns the stable raises Pintos, some of which you can see out in the pasture.

Back into the car and away we drove to Manistee to pick up the cake and ice cream, and then on to Abigail's daycare.  For some reason, Abigail has really taken to liking Zebras, so Patrick ordered a Zebra stripe decorated cake!  Here is Abigail seeing it for the first time after we walked into her daycare.  Miss Sue, the daycare owner/operator makes sure that birthdays are special, as you can see from Abigail's crown.  Abigail isn't one to wear hats, and her hoods are usually thrown back, so she must have realized how special this crown was.   :)

A close up of her cake.......which was delicious, by the way.   ;)

Another photo of Birthday Girl Abigail and Julie.  By the way, Abigail is wearing another shrug that Granda knit for her.   ;)

The party couldn't start until the school bus dropped several of the kids off, but after everyone was inside, they found a seat at the table and waited patiently for the festivities to begin.  Here they are singing "Happy Birthday" to Abigail.

Paul, who works with Patrick, came to pick up his 2 daughters, and also brought Abigail a birthday gift.  You may have guessed that like Mommy and Daddy, she too, loves horses.  Paul's family gave her a horse named Sugar, who neighs when her reins are pulled down.  Miss Sue also had a gift for Abigail, a soft and cuddly stuffed toy pig.  Both were hits with the Birthday Girl and as expected, both slept with Abigail that night.   ;)

All too soon it was time to leave, but we continued the celebration by going out to dinner.

Continued tomorrow......

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Dinner, and Abigail Opens Her Gifts...."

I arrived at the kids house at dinner time so I suggested we go out.  We went to Rico's Roadhouse, outside of Manistee.  I'd post the link to their website "IF" they had one, but seems they don't.  Yes, I was quite surprised by that, too.

We all ordered burgers of some sort, except for Abigail, who had chicken strips, and I was so impressed when the burgers were served, I took photos of each of them.

I don't remember exactly what Julie ordered, but it may have been the Mushroom Burger.  She chose Sweet Potato Fries, too.   :)

Patrick's burger looked delicious, too!  I've no idea what his was called......

Heck.....I can't remember what mine was called either, but it sure was impressive!  And yes, I did use the steak knife to eat it.  There was no way I could have opened my mouth far enough to fit that burger into it!

As we left the restaurant, a rain/snow mix was coming down.  Thankfully, it didn't last very long!

Arriving back at their house, it was time for Abigail to open her birthday gifts.  She'd taken off her gift ribbons and had Julie "model" them.   ;)  Oh!  For the record......Abigail must be a nudist at heart.....she keeps taking off her clothes in the evenings.

Her first gift is a book called "Guess How Much I Miss You?".  It is a recordable book that I read and recorded for her.

Her second gift was a shrug that I knitted for her.  She liked it so much that she wore it to bed that night.....and yes, she kept it on all night long, too.   ;)

Not long after "gift opening", it was time for Abigail to go to bed and Grandpa to go out to the "guesthouse".  Some of you may remember the camper I bought to stay at their house for houseguests to use when visiting.  Here is a little reminder......

The next day, Sunday, Patrick had to work.  Julie, Abigail, and I stayed home most of the day, but did  take a drive over to Dublin, MI, to The Dublin General Store (http://www.dublinstore.com/mm5/merchant.mvc), which is known for their HUGE selection of "Jerky".  It wouldn't be right to drive all the way to MI for a visit and not bring home some of their famous jerky.   ;)  Oh!  Since my last visit, they've opened up a small fudge shop across the road.  Yep.....I bought some to bring home, too!  Good stuff!   ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"I'm Home......."

I drove to Michigan last Saturday to visit Patrick, Julie, and Abigail.  Abigail's 3rd birthday was last Monday and I wanted to be there to celebrate it with her.  3 already!  Time flies faster the older I get!  Unfortunately, Don was not able to go with me since I planned on staying a few extra days, but I had Copper as my traveling companion.  ;)

I left before 6 AM Saturday morning while it was still dark.  I was able to snap this shot of the sunrise while driving along I 39/90.

As mentioned, Copper was my traveling companion, but a quiet one.  This was her "usual" position while we were on the road.  It's a bit blurry, but I was driving when I took this.  ;)

The further north I drove into Michigan, the more color I saw among the trees.  The following photos were taken along 31 north of Muskegon before getting to the Ludington area (I think).

I ran into small squalls of light rain driving up through Michigan, too.  I took this photo to show the clouds.  I find them beautiful, yet somewhat ominous, too.  The kids and I went out to dinner that night and when we came out of the restaurant, we had a rain/snow mix coming down.  Thankfully, it didn't last very long.  :)

I also had a few peeks of sun once and awhile, too.  When it came out, the tree colors became more vibrant!

My trip continued tomorrow.......