Friday, July 29, 2011

A Work in Progress

Just wanted you to know that my blog background is not as I would like it to be. I had to take mine off as they wanted a rental fee for it. Now I can't get it as I would like it, but no time today.

I'm leaving for Birmingham, Alabama in the morning with a group of 6 people from my church to help the tornado victims in that area. I will be gone for one week, so will try to work on this when I come back.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Four "F"s--A Great Combo!


Last Friday night we had a lovely outing with our friends, Gary and Rebecca. It had rained during the afternoon, but cleared up and it turned out to be a really beautiful evening. We headed for the BIG metropolis of Zulu, Indiana.

Now, pretty much all that Zulu really has is "Billy's", a Mexican restaurant. I was very amused at the sign in the restaurant (above) because I was thinking that Billy's was the entire downtown Zulu!

I forgot to take pictures until after our food was gone--hence, no photos of our flauta's and burrito and Combo plate. It was all very good, except my hubby thought the combo plate was a little extra spicy.

On our way home, we stopped at Janelle's place (Lynn's daughter), and visited her pony, Star. You may remember a post about the birthday party we had for Star some time ago. Don't Gary and Rebecca look right at home on the farm?


For many years now (maybe 14 or 15?) the girl cousins on my dad's side have gotten together for a reunion in the summer. This year we went to Archbold, Ohio to the Heritage Inn. We all grew up in Archbold and/or the surrounding communities.

There are actually 12 girl 1st cousins, and we also now include the girl cousins-in-law. We have not been including the male 1st cousins (we did have 4 but two have passed away); but this year we decided to include the remaining 2 male cousins. So there would be a total of 17. But as you can see only one of the male cousins was able to come and enjoy the festivities. My brother and his wife were unable to come, and 2 of the girl cousins were unable to come, so this was our group of 13.

FOOD is a big part of what we do when we get together. Tuesday evening we enjoyed a great meal at Stella Blue, a restaurant in downtown Archbold.

On Wednesday we took a drive to the little town of Grand Rapids, Ohio, which is right on the Maumee River. We ate at a delightful restaurant there, LaRoe's. Most of us had a sandwich and soup lunch, with 4 different kinds of soup--all of them delicious.

I put this next picture here for 2 reasons; it goes with the "Food" category; and also you may see a trend in my picture taking. I seem to be getting the best side of everyone in these pics!

We stopped on the way home from Grand Rapids in Ridgeville for an ice cream cone.

Most of us are farm girls and used to the country smells; but as we were sitting there attempting to enjoy our ice cream there was suddenly a very strong, fragrant odor from the very common fertilizer used in the country! Sadly, we had to go to our cars to finish our cones!

Later on Wednesday evening, we had a wonderful birthday dinner, in which we celebrated ALL of our birthdays. (It was the actual birthday of my cousin Carol--so we had celebrated with her all day, including a free dessert at LaRue's. I failed to get a picture of the feast we had, which was prepared by a few of the cousins that still live in Archbold. But my sister, Brenda took this photo of the two wonderful dishes prepared by the real birthday cousin, Carol.

And these were our cupcakes, which besides being very nicely decorated, were also displayed in the shape of a "G" for Gisel.

FUN, FUN, FUN! It would be hard to describe the dynamics of our group, but whenever we get together, we absolutely have so much fun. We end up laughing until we cry--which is actually very healthy for us, as it increases our store of endorphins.

One of the fun things we did, was to take a Canal Boat ride while we were in Grand Rapids. Our guide on the boat did a great job of explaining all the history. But basically these boats ran up and down this river during the late 1800's and early 1900's. They were pulled by mules who walked along the edge of the river and were attached to the boat by a rope. In it's prime this canal route had several locks to go through, but we actually went through the only lock that is still functional at this time. It was a great history lesson and a fun ride.

(May I just say that once again, I have captured the better side of some of our group in this picture!) What was I thinking? I could have at least asked them to turn around for the photo!

AHA! Finally, a picture with all of us facing the right direction! This was taken just before our canal ride, and one of our guides graciously agreed to take the picture for us.

This girl is a student and does this as a summer job. She did a great job of not only giving us a thorough history of the canal boats, etc, but also helped with the working of the boat at times. What a hot, summer job, but she seemed very enthusiastic.

I couldn't get a good picture of the mules while they wer pulling the boat. This is Molly and Mabel (actually, I'm sure it's not Mabel, but I forgot the name of the second one!

This is one of the gals who helped with the boat. The had to unhook the mules from the boat when they went through the locks, and she was helping to steer with the rope. She's actually walking on the wall along the lock, and they often walked on top of the boat to maneuver it at different times.

This just shows them opening the gates to the lock in order for us to go through.

Before we left that area, we stopped to see the Providence Dam. I'm always impressed with the amount of force and power the water has going over the dam.

Now that I've written a book, I will bore you no further. I just wanted to share some of the fun activities I've had recently involving, Friends, Family, Food, and Fun!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Surprise Date

We had a nice day yesterday. Lynn worked on finishing a project at Janelle's, and then after an afternoon nap, he worked on an equipment rack he is sending to Haiti. I weeded some garden, did some laundry, and also had a little afternoon nap--why not?

We went to the A & W in Antwerp for supper, something we do sort of frequently in the summer, and had cheeseburgers and root beer floats; he had chili cheese fries and I had onion rings.

In the evening we both read for a little while, and then watched an episode of JAG, that we get from Netflix. At about 9:45 pm, Lynn said, "Why don't we go for a little ride?" I said "Sure, if you're serious." He said "get your shoes on". So off we went in Black Beauty (his truck). I wasn't sure where we were headed, and I'm not sure he was either. But we drove up to the shopping area on Maysville Road. He then asked me what restaurant might be open at that hour. We looked around, and were just going to go to Wendy's, when we saw that Vince's was open. We had never been there, so decided to try it.

It turns out they did have a dessert menu, and so we each ordered coffee, and we decided to share a piece of Praline Turtle Pie. It turns out it was very yummy and very rich; we were both glad we had coffee to go with it. We also had each gotten a large glass of water. He was particularly thirsty, so he poured some of my water into his glass. The waitress apparently noticed, and brought him another glass of water. That one wasn't as cold so he poured the ice from the first glass into that one. Then it was almost too full of ice to drink, so I spooned some of his ice back into the first glass. Why am I telling you all this? Because, first of all the waitress was watching our exchange of pouring water, and dipping out ice, etc. and she probably thought we were crazy. She finally said, looks like you're having fun! Secondly, we got so tickled about it all that we were just laughing and having a good time.

My husband is an engineer, and prior to marrying me, I don't think he ever did much of anything spontaneous. But since I sometimes fly by the seat of my pants, I guess a little of it has rubbed off. I was very surprised he suggested a late night date, but it was really fun! Did I mention, this was the day I was going to seriously get back to my diet?! There's always another day for that.

He says, now, that we may just have to do a spontaneous weekend get-away sometime. Sounds like fun, but I don't think I'll hold my breath. Since our surprise date last night, though, I'm sure it could possibly happen.