Monday, September 17, 2018

2018 Week 37: Birthday in Amish Country

Field of scarecrows at Amish Acres
 Sister-in-law Diane had a brithday this week. Sunday we took her out to eat and then had her favorite German chocolate cake to share with family in the afternoon.
"Oops! I forgot to buy candles. No problem, I have a number six candle and five toothpicks."

Tuesday 9/11, her actual birthday, Diane and I enjoyed the Amish Acres getaway package  which includes: an overnight stay at the Inn; a tour of the historic Amish farm and schoolhouse; a buggy ride; a wonderful family-style meal; a performance of the musical Plain and Fancy in the Round Barn Theatre; and plenty of shopping opportunities.

The birthday girl "as pretty as a peacock"
 I have some photos for the highlights of our week. Life is very full with all the routine activities but nothing to show for those. Michael installed a new CNC machine at the robotics shop. He continues to go back and forth with the many steps and setbacks of the satellite program. And he must care for the bees, keep up with house and yard maintenance. Probably his big accomplishment of the week was the completion of the upgrades to the recumbent--electric assist, and a more comfortable seat. He coulda/shoulda been more carefull while handling the fiberglass because since then his hands and eyes have been irritated.

We did get out a couple times: Wednesday evening a lovely dinner and fun new game with friends. . .

. . . and Friday, an evening of dancing with old friends.

Thursday was art club, the last paint-by-number. Obviously the package I ordered is of lesser quality paper and paints, but we enjoyed the hour together each week working on one same project.

The last two, appropriately fallish
I thought the left over paints and designs would keep the boys busy when they came Saturday, however they preferred blank paper. What do you make of their art samples?

In an attempt to wear them down keep them busy, we planned a series of activities. First we set off to explore the woods.

First stop--the slack line

Last stop--the hunters' seat
We each carried a bag in case we found treasures. I found rocks to paint. Some special finds were only to admire and not carry back. How many interesting things can you see?

We went to see Incredibles 2 at Taylor University where we met up with Kayla and Rebecca.  Afterwards, of course, we had to go to Ivanhoes for ice cream. The clown sundae is the young'uns favorite.

All three boys were here (sorry, Elijah, no photos) so Sam and Kristie could have a special birthday date. Today, Monday the 17th, is her big 40 birthday! "Blessings, dear one, in this new season of life."

Thursday, September 20, I am scheduled for right eye cataract surgery. Not sure what recovery will be like nor when I'll be back to blogging.  The second surgery is planned for October 2.

¡Hasta pronto!

Monday, September 10, 2018

20-18 Week 36: More Fun

These beauties line the path leading to the Gray Barn. We look down on it from the Green Barn where we have tap class every week. How much longer will we enjoy them?

Our class will begin meeting on Momdays now. However this last week was Labor Day and the end of the annual Upland festival. The holiday weekend temperatures were the highest they'd been since 1963. 

I signed up for the 5K as usual despite the fact that I'd not run since last year's Labor Day race. What did I get myself into? I spotted my competition right away  and tried to stay close, but she was ahead of me most of the race. I noticed she also had to pace herself, run-walk-run-walk-walk . . . I managed to catch up once, have a little chat with her, but could never stay ahead. Her daughter coaches her, and they run together at least twice a month. She is four years older than me and so deserved to win first place in our age category. She encouraged and inspired me to keep at it regularly, at least once a month. And we hope to see one another again next year!

After the race I joined Michael and the Greenway promoters in the parade. He was entertaining the crowd as he rode his new trike.
We stopped when we came to family by Leah's house. Notice Rebecca cowering in the back, "I'm scared."

Tuesday was still stifling hot. Poor Elijah was exhausted after the soccer game. Kristie and I on the sidelines in the sun were also soaking at the end.

The big surprise of the week was when I opened Facebook and saw Mother featured as the September Artist-of-the-Month. I shared the lovely photo and since then 150 have reacted or responded in some way.

Family members were invited to a summer picnic in the Healthcare courtyard Thursday evening. I surprised Mother and showed her the messages and names of her many FB fans. During the visit I made sure to get photos of all the displays featuring her accomplishments. ARTcare is such a wonderful program!


Another surprise awaited me when we got back to Mother's room. There was a perfect little table where she can do her coloring. For two weeks I had searched for a desk that would serve that purpose and able to accomodate her wheelchair, but no luck. So the question I had was, "Where did this come from? Who gave it to you?" We concluded Margaret had asked one of her sons to find a solution for her dear friend Kathryn.

All week long Michael has been tinkering with his new recumbent--making a more comfortable seat and adding an electric assist.

We've attended graduations of robotics alumni over the years, and now a wedding Friday evening--Jessica Bennett to Bryce Masters.

Saturday we had a Grandma outing with Kayla, Rebecca, Zion, and Jude. Kayla shared her family passes to Minnetrista and the Muncie Children's Museum. To start out we met for lunch at Culver's.

The young'uns hardly stopped all day. The longest they stood still was when they wrote messages to put in a bottle part of the Minnetrista Message in a Bottle Collection exhibit.

Among the many fun moments, two favorites were: listening to Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary  while driving and at bedtime, and watching a movie, The Neverending Story. Oh, and climbing the circular staircase in all kinds of different ways, making up rules for various levels of challenge.

What were the fun highlights of your week?

Monday, September 3, 2018

2018 Week 35: More Summer Fun

Monday, yet another lovely meal poolside and a refreshing dip in the water.

Stephan and Karen gathering dishes and food. Nova, the cat, looking on.
Can you tell what has been added for poolside enjoyment?

A 1980 memory surfaced this week--a shared week in Uruguay with the Stachuras, minus our men who were in the US visiting Taylor University to consider their offer of help with computers for the ship. From the photo it looks like it was cold in Uruguay, so here in the US it had to be warm weather. And the ship Doulos must have been in dry dock and that is why we had to move off.
We have good memories of our time in the little house with the Stachuras.

Three family members participated in our little art club Thursday. Can you guess who and whose?

Michael spends a lot of time in his den doing all kinds of research, working with two computer screens and a TV monitor, but he does not miss the animated beauty happening right outside his window. He knows how many hummingbirds zoom about competing over the elixir he provides daily. However, I couldn't capture the activity with my amateur photography. 

ThinSats were launched almost daily. The Friday balloon launch at last included the mini satellite put together by Team 1720.  

This weekend we took in some of the Upland Labor Day festivities:
Saturday evening, the BBQ rib meal and Cumberland Gap music. 

Sunday afternoon we joined a special event--a 25 mile celebratory ride of Wandering Wheels' 50th anniversary. We rode our tandem to and from home to the starting point at the Lions' Club so we ended up riding over 30 miles on a very hot day. 

Leah, Kayla and Rebecca joined the fun at the Lions Park so we got to see Becca ride her new bike and later watched them painting rocks.

I am grateful also for the work goals accomplished--cleaning, laundry, writing, and more.

Monday, August 27, 2018

2018 Week 34: Summer Wrapping-up

I enjoy rescuing lonely bent or weather-beaten blooms. Some five years ago at a wedding we were given a little thank you gift--a cute bag with a few lily bulbs. Only one blossoms every year, but grows too tall in search of light and then topples over.

Dove's Crossing pool was open Sunday so we joined Stephan and Karen in the evening for a fun little swim. He even fed us quesadillas! Notice the lights all around the pool now. . .

. . .and the fun little pond.

As is our custom, we went to Stephan and Karens' again Monday for the weekly open meal--delicious food but not pool-side this time.

Tuesday I drove up to see Mother. I visit regularly, every other week, and notice changes each time. This week there was a new person at the table, Beverly Garber recently widowed. She and her husband Martin were missionaries in Africa for 40 years. Beverly could entertain us for hours with her many stories.

Joene Cover, Beverly Garber, and Kathryn Hoyt--three Grace Brethren missionaries representing nearly 100 years of service.

In the afternoon I took Mother to visit Aunt Margaret and give her the news that the Grace library archivist would like to have her many years of weekly letters from Argentina.

I sorted and organized Mother's drawers and discovered the many birthday cards she received. I had not yet seen this very special greeting from cousin Beth.

Wednesday was Rebecca's new beginning--PreSchool!

She came over later for a few hours. We had a lot of fun but  seldom was she still enough to get a photo. This was the only one. She loves to play with water.

Her little friend Sophie came to Art Club Thursday with G-Dad, as she calls him.

I was quite impressed with the five-year-old's bold-colored impressionistic piece!

Michael feels safer on the road with his "bent" than his "single" (cyclist jargon) because vehicles are not as prone to squeeze around a three wheeler. However, he needed a flag in the back to make him even more visible. Adequate enough? What do you think?

He has also been researching how to add motorized help for climbing hills, and how to make a more comfortable seat.
However, the big news of the week is that he delivered the two little stones that were causing him pain the last few weeks! Since then he's ridden his single bike with no problem.

This week, one of my compaƱeras (classmates) posted this interesting size comparison between Argentina and Europe.

My research this week yielded valuable information to fill out the story of my life in Argentina. A couple 1944 photos I hadn't seen before: missionary candidates; my dear friend Mirtha and her parents.

Other family news: Kristie and Karen both started their fall courses toward Masters degrees in their respective fields. These are intensely busy times for them.

Sam's family were able to enjoy a much desired getaway to King's Island Saturday.

After the visit from our country dancing teacher-friend a few weeks ago, we joined them a couple Fridays in Kokomo trying to bring back the moves after so many years.