Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend ramblings

We have been pretty active this weekend for us.  Friday night we went out with friends to a new Thai restaurant.  It is not actually that new but we haven't tried it.  It is kind of a small place in a little strip mall near our house.  The food was good. better than average for international food in our town.  After dinner we went to a Guy Davis concert. That too was good although Bud is more of a 'blues guy' than I am.  It was a nice evening with friends.  

Saturday Bud worked in the garage on his electrical work and I worked on the quilt I am making for Diana and Matt.  I picked it up from my quilter this past week.  I made pillows for the bed.  I will post a picture soon.  It looks great.  I only have to make some valances for the windows and that project will be done.  

We were invited to join the Nobles to celebrate Charlotte's 15th birthday in the evening on Saturday.   
 Charlotte received these boots for her birthday.  They wrap around her legs kind of like an Ace bandage and look cute. 
 Dinner was at a local great resturaunt called Stellas.  John (Brittany's boyfriend), Brittany, Charlotte and Sue were on one side of the table in this room which used to be a root cellar at the old State Hospital. 
 Bud, Walt and David were on the other side of the table with me there too.  Jack was away skating in state compitions.  It was a great meal and wonderful company
 We came back to the house for cake and ice cream.  Brittany made and decorated the cake.  It looked terrific.  You may wonder about the numbers on the top of the cake.  Charlotte isn't really 8,232 years old but Sue didn't have the correct number of candles or the correct numbers BUT if you add the numbers up the sum is 15 and Charlotte is also 15.  Clever family. 

 John and Brittany.  Brittany is on break from medical school and is going back today.  John is on break from law school and has next week off for interviews.  He is looking for a summer internship and has several possibilities 
The sisters and the cake.

Well, that is all for us.  I did talk to Sara and Leo.  They had a busy week and Leo had a good birthday.  I received a text from Eva earlier today.  Eva, Jessica and Doug are on their way home from Guatemala.  It sounded like they had a good time.  I am looking forward to hearing thier stories. 

I hope your weekend was fun and full of music, family and projects.  Since I am retired, my whole life is on a weekend schedule.  I like that.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A quick trip to Coleman

Tuesday I took a quick trip down to Coleman.  Leo called me this past weekend and told me that one of Mom's cousins had died (Peg Walter who was Ervin's wife) and he was going to the visitation on Tuesday evening.  I decided I would go along with him so I drove down Tuesday afternoon.  I arrived a little early so I took a quick drive out to check out the farm. 

 I used my lens to bring this picture in closer, I really didn't drive up and get that close.  However, I heard from Leon Lewis and several others at the visitation that the new family LOVES their new place and consider themselves blessed to have their own little place in the country with some land around it.  They are expecting a baby too so I feel like the house is welcoming a new generation.  It makes me happy.
 I also took some pictures of the WWII memorial in Coleman.  They put this new memorial up near the new library.  It is covered with snow but it has the flags around it and Leo told me that there are bricks with veterans' names on them. Our family bought one for Dad.  I will check it out again when the snow has melted and find Dad's brick. 

I met Leo at the Hotel in town for dinner.  Denise and Braden Long joined us or I should say that I joined them I guess.  Coleman isn't exactly the place where you take a lot of pictures at dinner so Braden didn't scoot over to join the picture.

I am glad that I drove down.  Now that I am retired I am available to do the 'family thing' more often.  I am also always looking for a chance to go and bug Leo.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Windy city girls

I had a great time in Chicago with my nieces Brittany and Charlotte.  I really am blessed to have such nice nieces.  I am thankful that Sue and the girls invited me to go along. 

 Brittany is on break from medical school at Michigan and they just decided that the girls needed a weekend of fun in the city.  Brittany was able to get a ride with a friend and we were able to meet up with her on the way over to Chicago and pick her up along the highway.  (We did go to an exit, not just have her wait along the highway)  It all worked out very well.  We shopped on Saturday morning, had a great lunch at a place that Brittany knew about from her summer living there and then headed to the show Les Miserables.  I enjoyed the production a lot even though I have seen it before.  After the show we shopped some more and then headed back to check out our shopping 'finds'

 We had dinner at the Cheese Cake Factory after a 'tough' day of shopping and culture.  We really did eat a light dinner before indulging in the cheese cake.  They were both delicious. 
 Sue bought a great new dress to wear to Jack's Open house this spring.
 Charlotte also bought a 'retro' dress.  Together they are really quite colorful.
 Charlotte found several new dresses.  This one looks great.  I said many times that "Youth is wasted on the young" but she sure looks very nice, this beautiful young lady.
I think it was a color intense weekend because this is one of Brittany's colorful outfits too.  The big Crate and Barrel box is mine.  I stuck to less colorful selections and really don't need any more clothes for my retirement lifestyle. 

Sunday we did some more shopping and then went to the movies.  Monday we were up and shopping again.  The J. Crew store was a very fun experience.  Our clerk was extremely helpful, full of life and great combinations for the young girls.  We had a great time watching them try on outfits.  We left that afternoon and headed home in the snow.  It was a wonderful weekend with everyone.  I always enjoy spending time with family and am thankful that they included me in this weekend.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Girls weekend in Chicago

Shopping and shows.  We have filled our time together with fun activities.  Saturday we went to Les Miz in the afternoon.  I really enjoyed the production even though I had seen it before.  I gained new insights into the characters and the theme of redemption and forgiveness.  We spent Sunday afternoon shopping and then needed a place to rest our feet so the movie theater was the perfect evening activity.  The King's Speech was our choice since the Nobles had not had a chance to see it.  I really enjoyed it the second time around too.  We will hit some shops today and then head home into the snow.  Leo called me yesterday and told me it is snowing in Michigan.  Surprise, Surprise.  That warm spring like weather didn't last long.  I am taking pictures so I will post them when I get home.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quick trip downstate

Wednesday evening we left for Ann Arbor.  I had my appointment with the doctor and we both concluded that I will probably just have to live with my foot pain problem.  I kind of figured that out by now but decided to to the follow up appointment anyway. 

 After the appointment we met up with Brittany and David for a nice lunch.  It is always so great to spend a little time with them and catch up on their activities.  I will see Brittany again this weekend because she is meeting us in Chicago.  I am going to Chicago this afternoon with Sue and Charlotte.  It is a 'girls weekend' to celebrate Charlotte's 15th birthday. 
 Brittany decided she should take a picture of the two of us so I thought I would post it too. 
We did a  little outlet mall shopping on the way home.  Bud bought himself some Bose earphones and I picked up a couple of things for myself too. 
On our way through Clare we stopped to have dinner with Leo.  Here he is modeling his possible "new look".  He was thinking that he might expand his wardrobe  from jeans to khakis.  He is such a tall and skinny guy that it is hard to buy them 'off the rack' so I used some of my LL Bean points and bought him some pants to try out.  I did make him change his shirt before we went out so that he wasn't all one color but how do you like the look?  Those of you that have been shopping with me know how I love a shopping challenge so I bought him 3 pairs to try.  This is one skinny man though, he is a 31 waist and 34 length.  He usually wears tighter jeans so this look is different for him. 

It was a fun little trip.  I will post my Chicago experience next week.  We won't be back until some time Monday so have a great weekend and safe travels to Eva, Jessica and Doug.  They are leaving for Guatemala tomorrow and will be gone for a week on a mission trip. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SPRING is in the air

The sun is out today and bringing hopeful signs of spring to N. Michigan.  The temps are in the high 40s and we are elated at the possibility that winter may be over.  NOW, we are also realists and know that we will receive several more snowstorms before the real thing settles over this cold land but today we can dream.  Bud is even thinking of taking down the Christmas tree this weekend.  YES, it is still shining and lighting our deck but again, this is N. Michigan and we need a little cheer late into the season. 

Today we are heading down to Ann Arbor for an appointment for me tomorrow.  I will be meeting up with a neurologist as a 'follow up' to my 'painful feet and moving toes syndrome'.I am no longer going down for the botox injections because I do not have the 'moving toes' part of that syndrome anymore.  I am still stuck with the painful feet part and am expecting that I will deal with that on a lifetime basis.  I am learning to 'accept the things I can not change' with this and other health issues that may come with getting older. I am still seeing the therapist that is doing the deep tissue massage but I think the neurological damage is not repairable.  I am not sure how much longer I will continue to see him.  I do think that he has been very helpful, I no longer have the muscle spasms that were part of the 'moving toes' syndrome but like I said my feet still hurt when I must be on them for any extended period.  I will try to not let that get in the way of living a full and happy life.  I have pursued this problem quite extensively from conventional physical therapy, acupuncture, all kinds of inserts in my shoes from podiatrist, and injections in the bottoms of my feet.  If something new comes along that I think will help, I will try that too.  I'm not giving up, just acknowledging that not everything is curable.  I am not discouraged, just waiting for the 'next big thing'.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Music of Sunday

Sunday was a day of music for us.  It was a great way to spend the day. 

 We went over to the Old State Hospital building where they have taken the lower level and put shops around.  It is an interesting place full of unusual shops.  They had a Folk Festival there on Sunday.  It was a free festival and there were performers positioned in several places in the hallways.  My friend MaryAnne performed for about a half an hour on one 'stage'. 
 Then we scooted over to the Lars Hockstead Auditorium where Charlotte was performing with the Northwestern Michigan Children's Choir.  This is her final year with this choir and she had a solo performance.  She has a beautiful voice and we felt honored to be able to listen to her and the very talented choir. 
After the concert, Jack and his friends gave Sonja, Bud and me a singing Valentine.  It was a nice surprise.  Jack has a great voice too. 

Jack and the group sang to Charlotte and he gave all the women a rose.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Music and family.  Such talent.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011


It has been a quiet week for me here.  I am engrossed in a new mystery novel, working on a new 'scrap' quilt and listening to the world news.  Sometimes quiet contemplation is good for the soul, sometimes a mystery novel is good to let you escape and sometimes a new project is a good way to get lost in both.  I am learning to enjoy the quiet moments of life.  Retirement is good for me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jessica is moving in

I would like to dedicate this posting to Jessica.  You may not know that she has decided to get 'dibs' on moving in with Bud and me.  A few postings ago I mentioned that Bud and I are planning on staying in this house until  we need assisted living or someone moves in with us to take care of us.  WELL, Jessica decided to get 'dibs' on moving in by having her mail forwarded to our address.  I didn't know that I was making such an attractive offer but the rest of you have lost out.  You will have to talk to Jessica about visiting rights. 

Do you need a little more background information??:):):)   Well, here it is.  Yesterday I went out to pick up my mail and there was a letter addressed to Jessica Clarady, with our address on it.  YES, our address!!!!   I was surprised.  Now it was just a solicitation for Direct TV not her bills or anything like that but it still had her name and our address.  I know that she has been angry with Comcast and has cut off her cable TV but even this seemed a bit intrusive for the USPS and Direct TV.  It sure makes you wonder how they put the two of us together. 


Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

 We watched the Super Bowl with Packer's Fans.  Walt grew up in Green Bay so the Noble family have LOTS of Packers clothes to wear.  Bud and I were a little out of place with our regular clothes but they were gracious enough to let us come over and watch the game with them anyway. 
 Charlotte, Sue, Bud and Ringo were all very interested in the outcome of the game.  Jack invited some of his friends to watch the game in the basement.  I heard they had better snacks ( a lot more junk food( than we did but I didn't go down and check it out.  Charlotte decided it was better to watch it upstairs with us adults and Ringo. It was an exciting game and we were all glad when the Packers pulled it out in time. 
Walt kept in touch with David by texting him frequently.  Brittany called at the end of the game to help celebrate with the rest of the family.  A true Packers family celebrates together using all methods of communications.  All is well in Green Bay.  The Packers are #1.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snowy week

 We have icicles on our roof.  They are really growing and growing as the days warm up and then get cold at night.  Our roof is quite problematic anyway and the man who did the roofing a few years ago is often puzzled by its problems.  We can't fix it in the middle of the winter and then we have to wait until the next winter to see if the fix works.  His latest suggestion is to clean the snow off the roof around the skylights.  He thinks it might be leaking in around them. 
 So, Bud is going up on the roof to clean the snow off.  It is about a foot deep.  I always encourage him to do this kind of work when I am home so that I can call 911 when I hear him fall.  Our roof isn't that steep and that is part of the problem with it leaking.  However, it is our house and we like it a lot so we will put up with its little problems for a while. 
 The garage is looking good.  All the siding is on and it is kind of ready for spring.  I think Kevin still has some work.  He is putting 'fake beams' on the side to match the house.  You can kind of see one in this picture.  The attention to detail and making it look like it fits right in is why we are happy with the garage.  Many people have kind of teased Bud about how long it is taking to build a simple garage but this really isn't just a simple garage.  Bud told me that he thinks we will stay in this house until we are ready for 'Assisted Living' or moving in with family (just kidding, we wouldn't move in with family, we would just make some niece or nephew move in with us) so the work on the house is important if this is going to be 'our house' for many more years.  It is a great neighborhood and a great location so it makes sense to stay here.
I also wanted to show you the snow piles in our driveway.  This pile actually is taller than me but it doesn't look that way in the picture.  This is the turn around area and we can still back into it to turn around so we have room for more.  It is just the beginning of February so I am sure we will have more to pile there. 

I hope you have a good weekend and GO PACKERS

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog's Day

Eva Came up for the day on Monday.  She arrived in time for lunch.  The two sisters went to lunch together to chat and catch up.  After lunch Eva met with her lawyers and financial advisers.  Bud sat in on those meetings to give her his point of view and any advice she needed.  She stayed until about 4 and then drove back home to beat the snowstorm.  I enjoyed my lunch time with Eva and Bud said the meetings were very productive.  I know that Eva was glad to have Bud help her with some of the decisions.

When Eva was here at the house she got to see Diana's new quilt.  It is ready for the quilter.  This is kind of a blurry picture but it is a little 'sneek peek' just to tease Diana.  I took the quilt to my quilter yesterday and found out that she won't be able to do the quilting.   Jessica (my consultant on this project) said that the quilting needs to be in straight lines.  Well, it turns out that straight line quilting requires some special equipment and my quilter really doesn't excel in that area.  She has recommended a quilter that lives out of town quite a ways but she will be coming into Traverse City on Feb. 14th so she will come and pick up the quilt then.  Interesting, I didn't know that it would require a special quilter to do straight lines.  I am still hoping to get it done so that we can take it with us when we go down to visit Matt and Diana the first of April. 
I can't let this Ground Hog's Day go by without commenting about the "STORM OF THE DECADE".  Diana said it best in a text to me yesterday.  "Listening to NPR coverage of the blizzard of the century, I realized that the northern states respond to 1-2 feet of snow the same way we respond to 1-2 inches."  She is right on that one.  Yes, we did get some snow.  Yes, the schools are closed.  We are on the northern edge of the storm so we didn't get as much.  Eva said that she got about 15 inches.  I have a lunch date with a friend today and will keep that date.  That is the nice thing about living so close to town, I can still go out even if the weather is kind of bad.  Jessica just sent me this picture of the back door at her house.  I know that some of you received this picture but thought it was worth passing on to others.  I am hoping that she wasn't getting ready for work when she discovered this barrier.  I understand this storm is heading out east so Sara and Leo will be in the line of the storm once again.  SORRY,  I am sure that that Florida guy (Leo) is getting tired of all the storms this year.  He may need one of those special lights to 'lift his mood'. Maybe this is payback for spending all that time in the sunshine of Sri Lanka. 

SO, stay warm if you are in the path of the storm.  Read a good book or go sledding.  Maybe even find an old copy of the movie "Ground Hog's Day' and laugh.