Friday, September 19, 2008

Not So Famous Last Words

Last words, but only for a week or so. It's been a bit of a slow year travelwise for us, so we're taking off to revisit some places and people from years past. Tomorrow we head North to the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) and then down to the LP (Lower Peninsula of Michigan). After we spend a few days hiking, sightseeing and rock hunting, we plan to return to Saginaw, Michigan where we lived for a while. A day or two of checking out what's new and what's not, we'll visit with friends who we haven't seen in close to twenty years. After a stop in the Detroit area to visit more friends from days gone by, we'll be heading home. (With a stop in Chicago to see my Mom) I'm sure that there will be many photos to share with you.
As they say in the UP, Aloha yea?
I'll leave you with a few random shots that I've been meaning to post.
Oh yeah, Derek and I went to the Cub's game yesterday (Thursday), It was the game where the Cubs came from behind to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and win it in the 12th inning. Probably the most exciting game I've ever attended.

Great nephew Ronnie. A kid who, at an early age,
really knows what life's all about and how to live it.

Just another ho hum sunset in Southwest Wisconsin.
And you wonder why I like it here?

Little Saffron starts life as a Cub fan.
Like she had anything to say about it.

The biggest video game smash hit Wisconsin has ever experienced.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

While You're Sleeping...

One morning last fall, while driving across New York State, I noticed hundreds, no thousands, of glistening little white circles in the weeds along the side of the road. On closer examination, I discovered that the sun was at just the right angle to illuminate thousands of dew covered spider webs. Naturally I didn't consider stopping to take a picture until I was well down the road and the angle of the sun had changed. Another missed photo-op. Yesterday morning I was sitting at the kitchen counter doing my morning crossword puzzle when the phone rang. It was JoAnne who was on her way to work. "Remember those spider webs in New York?" she asked, "Well they're everywhere along the road right now". I grabbed my trusty camera and ran to the car. Had to hurry before the light changed. (Up here, the light changing doesn't mean from red to yellow to green but rather refers to the position of the sun) Jo was right, the roadside was covered with them. I got some shots although they don't seem to truly depict how amazing and vast the scene actually was. I guess what's really interesting to me is that each of these webs contained its creator in its center, and, that when the sun isn't just right or there isn't any dew, these things are still there all around us. Just think, next time you go walking through some tall grass, that you are probably wipping out the night's work of hundreds of little eight-leggers. Here's a couple of shots showing one little area that was only a part the scene that went on for miles.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Holy _hit - No Hit

Big excitement in Wisconsin last night. Most of it in our living room where I had to restrain JoAnne as Carlos Zambrano threw the final strike in his no hit bid in Milwaukee. When the relocated game (because of hurricane Ike in Huston) was announced Saturday afternoon the first thought was to get tickets and head east to "Brew Town". Unfortunately cooler heads prevailed and we missed the game of the year. On the brighter side, had we gone to the game, I probably would still be trying to pry Jo from the retractable roof in Miller Park. As a gesture of appreciation for her support Big Z stopped by the house for a photo-op with Jo.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Life beyond saffron

Although little Saffron is still the center of attention around here, there are a few other "Blogworthy" things going on. Sally, Uncas and puppy Sammy drove down from "The Cities" last Saturday to get a face to face with their new niece. It turned out to be quite a gathering at Saffron's place. Both Grandmas (Jo and Marlene), Grandpa Blume (me), Great Grandma Vi (the Rezabek Viola), Sally, Uncas, Sammy, Great Aunt Margit and Uncle Dale along with cousins Brad and Doug were all in attendance. Saffron performed all of her tricks for the audience. She ate, she slept, she smiled, she cried and pooped. That's pretty much all she has learned so far.
The non-Saffron part of the weekend involved a few other activities. There was the usual "Cubs win big" "Cubs lose one". There was the unusual "Bears Win". (An upset against the Colts no less) And, a little sightseeing adventure. No use talking about the Bears or Cubs, that's all on the sports pages (if you're even interested). The sightseeing part was really enjoyable. It's been a while since we have taken one of our "little" Sunday drives and there are few places in our area that we haven't visited. This weekend we found one new to us, The Kickapoo Valley Reserve. We've traveled along the Kickapoo River both on the road and by canoe (a separate long, but funny, story), we've bought apples from the Kickapoo Orchard and eaten at Kickapoo Corners Restaurant but, had not heard of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. The reserve of over 8,000 acres lies about 40 or so miles north of us just outside of LaFarge, Wisconsin. The Kickapoo River winds through the landscape (When I say winds I mean winds. The Kickapoo is said to be the crookedest river in the state. It travels 60 miles as the crow flies but is 160 miles long as the canoe floats). The area is crisscrossed with numerous trails for horseback and bicycle riding as well as hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. We took a short hike through the woods to one of the numerous covered bridges on the reserve. The hike provided Jo and I with some much needed exercise and a lot of photo opportunities. It's been a while since I've taken many flower pics so it was really enjoyable. I'll post a few of the pictures here and if I ever figure out how to share my PhotoshopExpress albums with you, there will be more than enough to send you to dreamland.

One of the few straight stretches of the "Mighty Kickapoo".

Even the weeds look good on a beautiful summer afternoon.

The bugs seem to enjoy the flowers as well.

Grass going to seed is a lovely sight, as long as it's not in your lawn.

The "Belle of the Bridge".
It never hurts to bring some beauty along on a hike.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Little Saffron Spices things up

In the past my only experience with saffron was either as a spice that made rice dishes yellow or as a part of the 60's song, "Mellow Yellow". The arrival of Derek and Jeanna's little girl sure gave a new meaning to the word. It's become a synonym of, cute, sweet, cuddly, and lovable. It's no wonder that babies take quite a while to learn to speak because the earliest part of their existence they don't hear much more than ohs and ahs from anyone they are introduced to. Last Monday she arrived at her new home with Mom and Dad. On Tuesday she got to meet her Sister and Brother (the puppies Tina and Snoopy). Snoopy gave her a once-over and tried to act indifferent. After all he was being replaced as the baby in the family. Tina was much more interested. She wanted close looks and smells. I think that she will be the ever alert, protective big sister. She howls in sympathy when Saffron cries and barks to alert mom and dad that little sis needs attention. This weekend, Aunt Sally and Uncle Uncas along with Sammy will drive down from the Twin Cities to meet Saffron. (Doesn't Uncle Uncas have a nice ring to it?) I tried to get some photos of the first meeting of Saffron, Tina and Snoopy but the results were kind of disappointing. Here are a few of the ones that I doctored up in Photoshop. I'm just not very good at shooting living things. Guess I should stick to flowers and barns. I'll try one more time when we visit her tomorrow. I'm sure that Jo and Sally will take a large number of pics that will appear on their Picasa pages. I'll post the links to them.

Snoopy meets Saffron.

Tina makes sure that Saffron is properly passified.

Tina explains the house rules to Saffron.