Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Week 30: Summer Days

As I write it is raining and the sun is shining through the trees.
It is definitely summer, although we haven't felt the heat as much as other years.
I may have heard that it will go down as the coolest July on record. True? Not sure.
However, when we walk out our front door we are confronted by a canopy of green.

The wildflowers abound.

Mike got back into experimenting in the kitchen again, i.e. cooking, always trying something new. 
So he must be feeling somewhat better.

First artisan bread and usual delicious breakfast veggie omelet

Sam's family accompanied him on his work trip out east (surveying Taco Bell restaurants).
I am borrowing some of their travel photos posted on Facebook.

Can you guess one of the places they visited?

Sculptor-son Stephan, and fellow artists, spent a few days at the Ohio State Fair playing with sand creating art out of sand.

I had several necessary appointments and errands. On one of those I showed Diane how to use her iPad for "face time". 
We experimented a little with the camera feature as well.

Saturday I spent a few hours with DIL Karen helping to clean the Broadway house. 
A lot more work ahead to get it ready to sell.
We also went to their new home, Dove's Crossing, and I met the new member of the household.


How is your summer going? I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 Week 29: Convalescing and Celebrating

Mike continues to improve a little each day: taking longer walks; sleeping  better at night and less during the day; adding a couple outings and a few tasks. Wednesday was his first follow-up visit with the surgeon.

But, wouldn't ya know, this is the week the dishwasher decided to quite working.
Jimmy spent a couple hours one evening taking it out and apart.

Thursday was a big day--Kayla's baby shower in the evening!

I spent the day getting the house ready.
In the afternoon the decorators arrived with loads of wild flowers that were arranged in a dozen jars.
I am still enjoying the rearranged bouquets as I eliminate fading blooms each day.

Kristie brought the food including this charming fruit salad.

Photo courtesy of Tina Herschberger
 Then the people began arriving with their gifts and filled our house with love and laughter.

Niece Tina came the furthest with her little Simon, who is wondering who I am.

Photo courtesy of Tina Herschberger
Kayla was thrilled with all the wonderful gifts.

Among the many, a lovely quilt made by the soon-to-be great aunt Kristie.

Some givers were very creative in how they presented their gifts--a basket made of and filled with goodies for baby care . . .

. . . a bouquet of ballerina-themed baby clothes!

Photo courtesy of Tina Herschberger

We were privileged to have Tina and Simon stay overnight. By Friday Simon was getting used to me.

Mike was well enough to ride along and enjoy another fun time Saturday, a Circle Tour team reunion--great people, good food, lots of fun!

BTW, I think the girls won the volleyball tourney! ;-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

2014 Week 28: The Big Day--9 de julio

July 9th became even more significant.
41 years ago we brought home a five-month old baby girl to join our family.
Argentina declared its independence on that day in 1816.
And this year beat Netherlands in the World Cup semi finals.
On the same day Mike had major surgery. Dr. Sundaram, with the assistance of da Vinci's robotic arms, was able to remove the cancerous gland. We are grateful for the kidney stones back in February and the many tests that ensued which led to the discovery of the cancer and to the surgical treatment option.

This was the big week. Mike tried to accomplish a lot before the operation, like mowing, some needed repairs, and a long bike ride to hold him over for six to eight weeks.
Both Monday and Tuesday he worked on the floor at Stephan and Karen's new place, Dove's Crossing.

Floor repairs and more!                                                             Dolores and Red resting after a day's work
Our consuegros (co in-laws), Karen's parents, were visiting and helping with various projects as well.

We celebrated Leah's adopted birthday at the Monday Night Meal.

The Birthday Girl--soon to be a grandmother--and the Monday Night crowd celebrating
I've been trying to weed an overgrown flower garden. Can you see the little friend that came out to keep me company?

Wednesday, we were up very early and off to IU Health University Hospital. I appreciated having son Sam come and sit with me from 9:00 a.m. until we could join Mike in his room, around 3:30 p.m. Stephan and Karen arrived shortly thereafter.

Before he was put under, Mike had asked the doctor whether he'd be awake in time to watch the World Cup soccer game. Doc assured him.
We had a comical memorable time, eyes and ears straining to follow the famous 2014 soccer ball. The TVs were small and the reception was horrible.

So, in spite of his grogginess, Mike was on the computer trying to find a better way! No luck.

Needless to say I did a happy dance when Argentina won, and our kids, even the one born in Germany, joined us in cheering for my other country.

Karen, Sam, Stephan
Leah helped out on the home front and visited when we got home Thursday evening.
And Kristie prepared a delicious meal for us Friday. We are so blessed to have all our family nearby.
As the anesthesia wore off, the pain and soreness increased. Pain management continues to be a challenge.

First walk                                               Next day                                               At home
He still spends most of his time in the recliner and only takes short walks.

Friday, visiting friends ordered from Ivanhoe's and ate lunch here. It was so good to see a couple of girls from our travels in the Basque Country. Can you see Mike in the background taking it all in?

Saturday afternoon we watched the match to determine who would take third place in this World Cup.  It was not to be Brazil, though Netherlands did not defeat them as badly as Germany had (7 to 1).
We truly felt sorry for Brazil. However, today, when Germany beat Argentina 1 to 0 in overtime after a well-fought game, Brazil celebrated the defeat of their South American rival. No matter, I am proud of the Argentine team's performance.

Here, a few screen shots from today's viewing. Notice the ad for Garoto in the background. Stephan and Leah remember touring that chocolate factory with the ship school children when we were in Brazil.
Messi "mejor jugador del mundial"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

2014 Week 27: Family Fun at DC

Have I shared Stephan and Karen's good news yet?
They finally found the perfect property that meets all their needs, wants and more.
The Monday-Night-Meal crowd enjoyed it for the first time this week for hot dogs and brats.
There is a verb in Spanish that we do not have in English: estrenar, to use/wear/ experience for the first time.
El estreno, this first-time event, proved the truth of its new name: Dove's Crossing (dove, symbol of peace; crossing, signifying the intersection of many paths). Stephan and Karen's desire is to show hospitality!

DC, for short, came with LOTS of work as well. The house sat empty for several years and has problems.
Michael put in many hours on the plumbing.

Malachi helping grandpa
The evening ended with sparklers for the young'uns.

Tuesday we were invited to attend the Marion Rotary Club meeting where Stephan was the guest speaker.
It was a very interesting and inspirational talk.

Later that afternoon, three grandboys were dropped off to spend the night so Sam and Kristie could get away to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary.
The bedtime story Zion insists on reading is the only Curious George book we have. This is the third or fourth time. I think I will look into getting more Curious George stories.

Breakfast entertainment
11:00 a.m., Daddy came, it's time to go home.

I had a ladies lunch to attend. Afterwards some of us stopped by one of the homes to enjoy the many flowers and garden.

No photos, so an update and an anecdote instead.
Remember the car Mike worked on so long before our trip? Here's the rest of the story:
The day after our return, he went back to work on the beast and found a note from Matt (grandson-in-law), explaining what was wrong and what to do, according to his research. Sure enough it worked!

Later Kayla shared a little story her mother-in-law had told her. When Matt was only three years old he took a bunk bed apart and then told her how to put it back together!

Friday, Independence Day
We decided to have a family camp-out at DC. So we packed up and left mid afternoon (after Mike had already cycled 103 miles!).

Fun moments with Aunt Karen

The sunset bursts through the woods
The night ended with Jimmy's special fireworks display, or 'rocket show' as the little ones called it.

The sun woke us up and we enjoyed just 'hanging out' together all morning.

The dogs make Jude laugh.
 Of course, the work was also ongoing, but more enjoyable when tackled together.

Drain issues
Zion's genius was revealed when he attached the wagon to the tricycle to pull his little brother around.

Meanwhile, Elijah spent most of the time racing around the acreage on his motocross (?).

Thoughtful grandpa Mike provided the makings for strawberry shortcakes before everyone left.

Around noon we went to Stephan's Yorktown home to watch the Argentina vs Belgium soccer game. I/we were excited about the outcome! Now, let's see what happens Wednesday against Netherlands. Michael hopes he is alert enough by 4:00 p.m. (after his 9:00 a.m. surgery) in order to watch the game.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

2014 Week 26: On the road again

Monday we arrived home after a very looooooong day.
Mike and the young folk only got a couple hours sleep because they stayed up the night before to watch the US play in the World Cup.

The remnant in Indianapolis airport
In Europe I enjoyed reading the newspapers when available. I bought one with a special insert all about the World Cup. We referred often to the schedule of games. For entertainment on the flights back I purchased a historic issue of ¡Hola! covering the proclamation of the new king of Spain. 
I remember as a child how fascinated I was with the National Geographic issue of Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

A couple days later Mike went out for a long ride again. Look what jersey he chose! The gift that Amaia brought on her first visit in 2009. The Euskaltel, Basque professional cycling team, no longer exists, but our adventures in Basque Country, inspired back then, are ongoing.

Thursday the Greenlees (old friends from our years in Europe and on the ship Doulos) came through and spent a few hours visiting. Can my faithful readers guess where we took them for lunch?

The very next day we were on the road again on our way to Little Rock, Arkansas, for a wedding.

On the way there and back I read out loud from two very special memoirs, both about friends of ours from years ago.

 We were very honored to be invited to the wedding of two Taylor grads, our young harpist friend and a young man in our community. We were also very privileged to stay with blog-friends Sara and husband Steve. They've been to our place several times because their youngest is a student at Anderson U.

They taught us to play Hand and Foot a couple years ago, and still delight to beat us whenever possible!

Saturday morning Sara showed us how she makes green smoothies with her Ninja.

She also helped me find the perfect outfit for the evening wedding.
No photos of that beautiful event.

Sunday morning we said goodbye to our good friends. We don't know when or where we will see them again as they may be moving soon.