Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Weekend That Was!

Most folks spend the Memorial Day weekend relaxing, traveling, cooking out, visiting, parading and even memorializing. Not the Blume folks. No, we try to do all of the above and even a few more things. In order to fit everything in we started our weekend on Thursday with a really BIG celebration. Actually a BIG celebration in a small way. We added another Blume to the family. Thursday evening we all, Derek, Jeanna, Jeanna's Mom and Dad, Jo and I, and of course Saffron, gathered at Christ Lutheran Church in Deforest, WI where Derek and Jeanna were married. After a lovely ceremony the group invaded Ginza, a Japanese steak house for dinner and everyone had a great time until the chef scared the crap out of Saffy with his extreme "Onion Volcano". On Friday Saffy and the puppies, who had spent the night at our house, were redeposited with D & J as Jo and I were off to Minnesota to spend the rest of the weekend with Sally, Uncas and Sammy. After a relatively routine drive, we arrived in Minneapolis where we were treated to some homemade brownies, and did what all red blooded Americans do . . . played Wii into the wee hours (A real holiday Wii wee). Saturday was a day spent at the Minnesota Zoo matching people with the animals they resembled (you should have seen the ones that matched these two guys), overeating at an Italian restaurant and more Wii (JoAnne has been enshrined into the "Guitar Hero" Hall of Fame). Sunday Uncas and I hooked the Nimz "yatcht" to the rear of the old VW and headed off in search of Moby Dick while the women did woman things like planting Hostas (imported from Fennimore) and shopping. Both groups were quite successful, the boys pulled in thousands of Pan Fish and the girls pulled in thousands of bargains. The boys returned the fish to the lake but the girls brought their catch home. The day ended with a late night "Guitar Hero" concert of some newly purchased tunes. Monday we were back on the road heading home. An uneventful four hour drive and we were back in Fennimore and our palactial Hosta covered estate. All in all a really good holiday. When we arrived home we were reminded of what the holiday was all about. A wake was being held a the funeral home across the street. What an appropriate finish to "Memorial" weekend.

A few of the thousands of Blue Gills and the two Crappies
that fell prey to the mighty hunters!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Green is Today's Gold!

In my recent posts about signs of Spring, you know the ones about birds nesting, garden cultivation, baseball games, lawn mowing, foals and calves being born, and of course Pete's Hamburger stand opening, I left out one of Mother Nature's most treasured signs of the season . . . namely the dreaded "Garage Sale" sign. This past weekend, Fennimore, celebrated the arrival of spring with its citywide garage sale. It was a real deal with 65 registered "garages" and a couple of dozen "outlaw" locations (we got in under the wire and snatched up sign #65). The sales ran from 7 a.m. Friday morning til noon on Saturday. And, although we had vowed not to participate after being involved in the past selling off a lot of my mom's and Jo's mom's household belongings. After emptying out both of their homes when they moved on to assisted living facilities, we realized how much stuff we really didn't need. So, we have been making an exerted effort to dejunk our home. As a result we don't have a whole lot of things to sell but we came up with a marketing plan that turned out to be a sure fire winner. What do we have in abundance that might appeal to the roving bands who will be scouring the streets of Fennimore in search of treasure? Instead of looking IN the house we took to the yard. There in overwhelming amounts grow "Green Gold" aka Hostas. Everyone loves Hostas, they're easy to grow and no one ever has enough of them. Well we have more than enough of them, I gave up counting plants at a hundred and twenty. Jo grabbed a spade and filled every empty receptacle she could find. We set up a few tables in the garage with an assortment of "treasure" (junk) and one table on the driveway filled with pots, cups, and cans loaded up with greenery. Friday, we sold some of the "treasures" but, the plants were the the cash cows. We sold more than half of our stock, plus a few that Jo dug to order for those who wanted particular species.
Saturday was cold and windy making for a fairly sparse crowd. (Not even very many Amish were out on Saturday) But, once again the Hostas were selling off the table. Just before noon we gave up the ship. Closed up the garage but, left the plant table out on the drive. Considering that there may be some stragglers who might be interested in a "bargain bin" plant sale, we placed a coffee can with a $ sign on the lid thus making our sale self serve. Sunday, when we returned from shopping in Dubuque (spending our profits from the sale) kiddingly I told Jo to check the can and lo and behold there was a ten dollar bill stuffed into it. Monday as I was handling some real important projects around the house, I saw a lady rummaging around the plant table. I remained in the house peeking out the window til she loaded her car and left. As she drove away I noticed that the plant table was empty. I ran (actually walked quickly) to check the can (which in a small town like ours, is as good as a safety deposit box). I dumped the contents on the empty, mud spattered table, only to find ten dollars and forty four cents. This was weird because first of all, there weren't ten dollars worth of plants remaining Monday morning and, secondly, what the ten dollars and forty four cents was comprised of - four two dollar bills, one single, one Sacagawea dollar coin, a quarter, dime, nickle and four pennies. Even more intriguing was the fact that that plants were priced at ONE dollar each. I guess it will just become one of those urban mythteries that will handed down for generations to come. In the mean time I'm off to find more receptacles to fill with unsuspecting Hostas. Wonder if I can sell enough to buy a new computing machine?

Thar's Gold in Them Greens!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Town and Country

It's that time of year when we all seem to return to the soil. Time of plowing and sowing. Being the ever inquisitive one, I did a little investigating this week. I found some very interesting differences between the methods used. The other day while I was working away on the old computing machine, I was awakened by a strange noise outside. There arose such a clatter, I ran to the window to see what was the matter. (Oops wrong season) As I peered out the window I noticed that my neighbor was digging up a garden plot in his yard. You might say he was more than up to the task.

A perfect example of "The right tool for the right job."

The finished product.

Later in the week, while driving home from one of my errands, I ran across another guy preparing a little larger plot in an entirely different manner.

Might be an exhaust problem.

I'm sure that there's some middle ground somewhere in the tilling world. I'm really looking forward to see how my neighbor goes about planting the seeds. (And harvest time could really be cool) As for me, I stand by my position of "you don't need a garden if you know someone who has one."
"The zuchinni's are coming hurrah, hurrah!"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jack!"

I haven't mentioned the new Cub's season lately. But, this little incident has prompted me to speak out. On Wednesday, the Cubs took the field with a rather unknown starting line up. Coach Lou had decided to give most of the "regulars" the day off and give the "bench warmers" a day on the field. As several newcomers took their positions on the field, another new comer took her position in the upper deck. It was Saffron's very first Cub game. According to mom and dad, she really enjoyed the game but not the final score. I'm not reading anything into this, but it was the only game the Cubs lost this week (so far). Saffy promises that she will bring home a win if mom and dad take her to another game, soon. She told Grandma Jo that she could probably have better luck if she had one of those cute pink Cubs caps (one that fits). Here are a couple of shots taken at the old ball yard.

"Take me out with the crowd?"
(Dad likes to get there early)

"Let me root, root, root for the home team!"

"Almost had that foul ball."

"It's one, two, three strikes she's out at the old ball game."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ah, Spring!

Spring is certainly upon us. I've already reported on Pete's Hamburger stand opening for it's one hundredth season and showed pictures of Great Blue Herons nesting. And, I've introduced the use of fresh fruit for communication. But I've done a little road tripping in search of more signs. Below are a few more of the Springtime sights around here.

Lot of these little guys around and more every day. Cheese and ice cream for everyone!

A future rodeo star

Mom in the birthing room while
dad hangs out in the waiting room.

This my "find of the week".
A pair of Sandhill Cranes complete with a couple of eggs.

And the surest sign of all!!!
The neighbor kid dragging out his mower
for the first cut of the season.

Can't wait for him to get big enough
to cut the lawn for the old guy next door.