Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 Week 43: Cold weather is here!

Brutus the cat noticed the temperature change and spends more and more time indoors and sleeping!

Where did this interesting bug come from? What is it?

Mike left Monday morning at an unearthly hour, met his brother Terry in Illinois. They drove two days and arrived at nephew Jeffrey's home in Idaho sometime Tuesday. Check out the travel scenery here.

I was on my own to host our Honduran friends Tuesday evening so friend and Spanish teacher Alma joined us for a delightful cena, where Spanish conversation prevailed.

Osman y Suyapa
 Wednesday we woke up to a coating of snow. Time to store some of the deck furniture.

That day Mike learned in a roundabout way that he won first place in the sculpture (ceramics) category of the Grant County Art Association competition. Don't know how he missed being notified. I bought a newspaper and found that he had also placed third. Can you guess which pieces won? Go here to see all four.

Thursday afternoon I was free to tackle a long list of errands. I stopped 12 times. Love it when so much can be accomplished in one trip.
I found a few frames for family photos. Now, the next challenge is to figure out where to hang these and others.

For lack of a Friday photo, I will post Mike's from a week ago when he and a college student made this pie. I think Andrea is helping out some at the Red Barn while he is gone.

As of today, the plants are in and several repotted. Now, where should each one end up, that's the question.

Everything in due time and to every thing there is a season. Sounds like Ecclesiastes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 Week 42: Fall Fun

A birthday celebration, a harvest festival, two day trips and all the regular involvements--another full week.

 Sunday we had a total of five events to attend. Here are two of family interest: Jude's first birthday party, and MAC's harvest festival and auction, a benefit for missions.

My two favorite photos of the many:
--Jude before being presented with his first birthday cake--a chocolate-covered sweet treat he had never tasted. Not sure what he thought of it.
--A book-lover already? After my own heart!

Carver Stephan at work; Brother Sam looking on
Son Stephan auctioned off all but two of his pumpkins and spent the week carving requested designs.
A couple samples:

The Story of Jonah

"Fairies, sprites, rainbows and stuff" were requested.

Monday evening we always look forward to the meal at Stephan and Karen's. 
It is dark now when we drive back and we arrive home to a lit-up tree sculpture. 
I tried to capture the moon in the background.

Later in the week we had a full moon and I experimented with my new-to-me camera.

Mike completed the second step in the casting process he is experimenting with.
Before attempting the process with his most recent sculpture, he took an older one to learn on.

Thursday we visited our consuegro in Michigan City and Saturday we traveled to a town south of Valparaiso to meet with other friends of the Basque Country.

So glad  we could have that time together. Mike left this morning very early for his annual trip with his brother. It is the last time in Idaho. Nebraska next year, si Dios quiere.

And now I must bring plants in and/or protect some from the frost to come.

Decorative Pepper Plant

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 Week 41: Miscellany

This week I began using a different camera. My tiny one was having issues, so I am getting used to a larger better one that Mike was thinking of selling. Bigger, better, will that improve the photography?
Anyway, this week's photos are a mix of old and new cam photos, cell-pics, even some of Mike's shots.

Sunday morning Zion and Elijah were still here until mom and dad came for them. We enjoyed a great meal Mike prepared together with the family.
I could find NO photos for the day, so decided to use one from Saturday which represents Zion's favorite activity when he comes to visit--'ride the wheeler'.

Aunt Leah loves to take her favorite little ones on the ATV
Monday--What? Another day with NO photo?
Okay, so I'm thinking of Ivan and Kim's last day before they leave for Argentina. Look what they bequeathed me? An oven-bird nest--a veritable engineering feat!

El hornero
This mud construct made its way all the way from Argentina. How? I cannot imagine as it weighs a ton! It has been used in many missionary displays and passed on full of loving nostalgia.

Tuesday, October 8th, was littlest grandson's first birthday with sweet memories of witnessing his birth.
On Mike's camera I discovered a whole series he had taken of him a few months ago. This was one of my favorites.

I was needed to pick Skye up from school and take him to his hair appointment. I did not hesitate a minute as I love spending one-on-one time with a grandkid. Had a great conversation with his peluquero as well. His father's last year as a long-time professor at Taylor U was my first as secretary of the department where he taught.
Ah! Finally a photo I actually took that day!

Wednesday,  I completed a major goal for the week--The Last Day in Donosti  blog post.

The photo on the left I took when I visited the Pottery studio at the Red Barn after my exercise class.

Will the real Mike Koch please stand?
The sculpture on the right is the work of an art major having fun. What do you think about the likeness, minus the Einstein-like hair, of course?

Thursday Mike and I went for a walk, exploring our woods. The beautiful fall weather was too gorgeous to pass up such an opportunity. We discovered an area with loads of walnuts on the ground, so we went back with the ATV and picked up several buckets-worth which we then spread out on the deck to dry. (See Monday's photo.)

Friday was Grandparents' Day at Elijah's school. And this time he did not pass out! (Ha! Check last year's post.) Always fun to watch him in the classroom, see samples of his work and hear the music program his grade level performs.

Can you pick him out of the 80 third graders?

On the way home we stopped by the Civil War Days reenactment site in Hartford City, a neighboring town.
We had never been there in all our thirty years in Indiana. It is one of the largest events of its kind. Fascinating, really. Many great conversations with the interpreters of another era. A real learning experience.

The weekend ended with a game of Hand and Foot with good friends.

Of course, our days are filled with many other activities that will remain undocumented.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Circle Tour 13: The Last Day in Donosti

Our last full day in the Basque Country is beginning to fade, so it is urgent that I make time to remember and record what the photos bring to mind. There were many beautiful moments, in spite of how unwell I felt.

It was a free day to explore the magnificent city, go shopping, and meet up with our Basque friends.

Barb and I often ended up together because we could maintain a similar pace, although on this day her energy level far surpassed mine. We walked and walked past the lovely beach area...

...and up by the Miramar Palace where the royals enjoyed many summers.

We walked and walked and observed how the ancient and modern blend and overlap in so many ways.

Saturday mornings the streets were buzzing with people and events.
We stood in front of the Town Hall (above) and watched wedding parties exiting with fan fare every twenty minutes.

On a pedestrian walkway downtown we came across musicians and people joining in with traditional dancing.

We were told that the fish market was a must-see. Very special, indeed. Multiple vendors atistically displayed every imaginable edible sea creature. Even the floors are works of art with mosaics that reflect the Basque fishing and whaling history.

We had walked and walked (Did I mention that already?) and I was ready for a break. We spotted a McDonald's and went in to sit a spell and have some tea and a bite to eat.

I think we headed back to our lodging after that, though Barb could have kept on walking...

When we arrived I must have felt like the statue of the Txantxillo in front of our hotel.
Santiago (James) Hernández Redondo, nicknamed "Txantxillo" is considered the most well-known person in San Sebastian of the latter half of the 20th century --a bag man who endeared himself to all with his quaint manners, his xylophone and peculiar way of begging for a "pesetíta". He died ten years ago and is still missed and remembered.

I must have rested some before our long-awaited visit to our dear friends in Hondarribia. Alberto came by around 6 p.m. and drove us all to their gated community. We were allowed to see their piso (apartment) in spite of the remodelling mess, which he called un desastre. Of course we didn't care, we were delighted to spend time with his family, Edurne and the girls.

Alberto pointing out their third floor apartment; the lovely sisters appearing from upstairs--Amaia and Eider
All of us refers to Dane and Laurie, who had been with us the first time in 2010 (read more about that visit and see where we stayed in an old post--Arantxa's Place), their son Stefan and Dane's mother Barb.

We walked with our friends to revisit the familiar places and see what was new. Looks like Dane really needed that little break!

Two new things: 1) the walk-in clinic (ambulatorio) where Edurne now works is in the top floor of the Itsas Etxea pictured on the right; 2) the big blue boat Imanol is refurbishing as a retirement hobby.

In our previous visit Edurne's practice was in a temporary building while the new clinic was under construction. (For more go to Zorionak, Edurne!)

Later that evening, closer to the customary late dinner hour, we wound our way to the old part of town and eventually ended up at the sociedad gastronómica where some of the friends have a membership. There we met up with more friends and family and had a wonderful meal and delightful conversation.

Notice who are wearing aprons. Only men are allowed in the kitchen. (I think I like that!)
(To read and see more go to Eating Experiences in Euskadi.)

The crowd was a little different from our previous visit. We met some family members for the first time.

A memorable evening that ended all too soon.
We walked through the old city wall, said our goodbyes and began to disperse.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

2013 Week 40: Family and Friends

All my photos this week feature people except one--Mike's sculptures that I delivered yesterday to enter the Grant County Art Association contest and exhibit.

Sarah, Fantasia, Swirl, Rain Drop
  I learned as I was filling out the application, that all ceramics come under the category of Sculpture.

Both Karen and Gina  were surprised to learn they had cut their hair on the same day at the same place.
No surprise at all to see Gina with her first grandbaby again!

Beautiful weather for another cross-country meet. Guess which family member had a mind of his own?

Grandma Debby came straight from her job to cheer Malachi and enjoy the grandbabies.

The ladies Bible study resumed, always a delightful time to meet with friends and talk about Jesus.

We had visitors from NC--the Shaneyfelts who work with JAARS. It was fun to catch up with Carol who grew up in Upland. She was a young girl when we moved here. Of course we had to go to Ivanhoe's.

We'd been looking to replace one of our cars and finally found a good deal in MI. The added blessing was to meet up with Ivan and Kim for lunch on our way back for one last visit before they leave for Argentina in a couple days.

We celebrated our favorite granddaughter's birthday. (I can still say that ;-) We had fun as a family with the added presence of the other Kayla, a dear friend, like sisters.

The two Kaylas