Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

This is not a book I would have picked up to read.  Not that it sounds awful, it just did not sound like something I would actually enjoy.  But since it was a book club book, I HAD to read it.  And so . . .

I asked Ginny if I could borrow her library book, as she had already finished it.  After picking it up on Monday, I read the first chapter.  Huh.  It began with a commentary on an obscure book by a famous author, written by A. J. Fikry.  Then it launched into an introduction to A. J.  By the end of the chapter, I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

Avid reader I am not.  Fast reader I am not.  But give me an intriguing book and I can be both! And that is exactly what A. J. Fikry was.  Every chance I got, I picked it up, and by Wednesday afternoon, done.

And it has stuck with me.  I have not returned the library book yet, and I have found myself returning to look at who wrote the obscure books, or whether the tone of the book reviews changed, or how the people changed . . .

This book was a fun, well-written book with just enough mystery to keep me interested.  I can't wait to discuss it at book club.  It will be fun to see if everyone else liked it as much as I did.

Friday, September 26, 2014


The older I get, the more often I see connections between actions, thoughts, and happenings.  So, here is my most recent "coincidence."

Wen I was young, my mother purchased a book of nine short stories by J. D. Salinger.  For some reason I was always intrigued by the book;  I guess I thought it was something I "should" read but never did.  But I kept the book, and earlier this spring I set it out as something to read in the near future.

A few weeks ago, while cleaning our bedroom, I put the book back on the shelf, since I still had not read it.  Epic fail.

Fast forward to our October book club book.  I had finished The Count of Monte Cristo and decided to pick up the next book, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.  I had heard it was a fast read.

The first page of the story involved a review of an obscure book in A. J. Fikry's store.  From then on, every chapter began with another review of a different obscure book, though I did recognize one or two of the titles.  Toward the end of the book, one chapter began with a review of "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," by J. D. Salinger.  I did not think anything about it because I was loving reading about A. J. Fikry's storied life and could not wait to see what happened.  And I assumed the Salinger piece was a book.

A day later, however, it occurred to me that maybe the Salinger review was not a book but perhaps a short story.  I pulled out my mom's book, and guess what the first short story is?  Yep.  "A Perfect Day for Bananafish."  I think it is a sign.  Needless to say, I now have to read at least the first of the nine short stories.

Ready, set, go!

Grammar Nazis

There are grammar Nazis and there are grammar Nazis. Most grammar Nazis notice an error and they might comment on it but that is it.  If the error is on a sign, it might be mentioned to the person who made the sign if it is easily changed.

But I have never seen this.

The above picture is from our book club book, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.  It is a library book from the Wichita Public Library.  Someone obviously was quite unhappy with the author's use of brought versus taken.  This grammar Nazi made one other correction in the use of lie and lay, and although the correction is accurate, it was unnecessary to write in a library book.

There are grammar Nazis and there are grammar Nazis.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Heartbreak Hotel

Maybe that should be the new name for the Willie.  It seems as if the Willie goes to all of the big football games that we don't win.  The Auburn game was the most recent.

Never have we heard so much noise as we did during the game.  I am grateful I had my earplugs in - I would have hated being there otherwise.

I was already losing my voice because of a cold, but the game put the finishing touches on it.  By Sunday, I only sounded a little like Lauren Bacall, but Friday was pretty grim.

The 'Cats had every opportunity to win but did not.  Between the surprise, being back with our tailgate friends, and good food, however, all was not lost, and by the time we returned home Friday night, we were able to put it all in perspective.

This trip was a great one, except for one thing.  My intrepid little traveling buddy was not by my side, and I missed her.  Although she has been gone a month, I still look for her when I come home.  I  know when we get a puppy that will help, but it probably will not be until the spring that we do that.  Until then, I just have remember the fun we had with her and be grateful we had her for 17 years.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Auburn Surprises

K-State fans had been waiting a long time for September 18 to arrive.  The biggest football game in several years was to be played that evening, and we were going to have a lot of fun!  The whole tailgate group would be together, Don's dad was going to attend . . . what was there not to love.

The Nortons, however, were even more excited.  We had been keeping a secret for a long time - since we were in Portland in early August.  And today was the time for the final reveal, since Grandpa Moo was in the house.

Kenneth approached Grandpa Moo, and after greeting him, said, "Grandpa, how would you feel about being a great-grandpa?"

Grandpa opened his mouth, stopped for a second, and then, in his slow drawl, said, "Well, I guess that would be all right."  I think he was very surprised, as he had just been saying how he needed to just keep his mouth shut about whether Kenneth and Melinda would ever have kids!  Then he gave both of the kids a hug . . . and a big smile.

We had gone to dinner with the kids in Portland, which is when they surprised us with a dessert and the message, "Congratulations, Grandma and Grandpa."  But we were sworn to secrecy, as they wanted to tell Di in person . . . and they wouldn't see her until the Green Bay trip . . . and Grandpa . . . and they wouldn't see him until the Auburn game.  So we waited and waited.  And I made a big deal over the babies at the tailgate, moaning that I didn't think I would ever get a grandbaby!  One of Kenneth's friends noticed what I was saying and privately told Kenneth, "She can't be saying that!"  Of course, Kenneth just laughed to himself, because he knew what I was doing.  Deflection is effective when one cannot tell a secret.

Well, finally we can tell.  It is going to be a fun five months watching Melinda and Kenneth as they prepare for their sniglet to join them.  We are excited for them and their next adventure.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nelson's Landing

It seemed like the natural ending to our road trip was a dinner in Leonardville, KS, at the restaurant of Jordy Nelson's parents - Nelson's Landing.  We invited our nephew Zach and his friends, though only one, Hannah, could join us.

The 30-minute drive gave us the opportunity to talk about classes, activities, Homecoming, and all sorts of things KSU.

When we walked in, we noticed that appreciably more Green Bay Packer memorabilia had been added to the display cases, and a life-sized Jordy picture now hangs on the wall.  We said something about being in Green Bay, and a woman chimed in that she had been there, too.

"Are you Mrs. Nelson?" I asked.

"Yes I am," she replied.

That is when I told her we would like her to sign our Green Bay pennant.  She looked at me askance, not certain she had heard correctly.  But when I explained that without her we would not have Jordy, and now she could tell him that she was being asked for autographs, too, she consented, and within minutes, we had two signed pennants.

As we were seated, we ordered our pies, as we knew they were the first to go.  Peach, blueberry, coconut cream, and chocolate peanut butter - four different kinds.  Then we ordered our dinners.  Because there was a large party in the other room, the dinners took longer to get to the table, but that was ok.  It gave us plenty of time to talk.  We were plenty hungry when the burgers, club sandwiches, and salads arrived, so it was pretty quiet for a few minutes.

Hannah had a Homecoming meeting at 9:00, and we barely got home in time.  But we made it.  Fun times in Leonardville.

Minnesota Family

One of the stops I knew we had to make was to see my cousin, Chris Gannaway, and his wife, Kim, in their beautiful new home in Cokato, Minnesota.  They had come to the cabin just before the 2013 fire, and after we had spent time with them, we knew we needed to go to their home . . . and this was the perfect opportunity.

It is never good when someone's address is not on GPS.  Luckily, Kim had given us great directions, and we arrived in time to partake in a delicious enchilada dinner.  Haven't had enchiladas like that in years!

I knew Kim was an excellent quilter, but I didn't know how excellent she is.  She even has her own laser-guided quilting machine!  I had no idea there was such a thing.  Her craft area is to die for.

The next morning, after a very tasty wild-rice egg casserole breakfast, complete with cranberry juice and muffins, we strolled outside to see the many gardens they have designed, the trees they have planted, the lake on which they boat.  It is obvious that both Chris and Kim have design talent, as everything they touch is gorgeous.  I can't wait to see the quilt garden they design.

We also got to meet Reilly, their Wheaton Terrier.  Ever since I heard about him, I wanted to see him.  What a cute dog!  He made me want a dog sooner than I know we should get one.

Before we left, Chris and Kim shared some raspberries from their raspberry bed.  Only a year old, it has yielded many, many berries.  Yum!

We had to leave for Manhappenin, but we didn't want to.  We had a wonderful time in Cokato, Minnesota!


One knows they are in Scandinavian country when they see gnomes and trolls everywhere.  I personally prefer the gnomes, as the trolls seem a little evil.  The gnomes appear to be guardians, looking for good.

As we drove in Wisconsin, we saw this guy.

He is a big guy, not exactly the garden variety gnome I am used to.  We saw them all over Wisconsin, and when we arrived in Minnesota we saw many more . . . Even a girl gnome.  I called her Helga!

Helga very regally guards the front door.

They are serious about their gnomes in this area.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lambeau Field

The driver for our trip to Wisconsin was a trip to Lambeau Field.  After all, as an NFL owner, I needed to inspect the building, check out the concessions, and make sure security was doing its job.  We had heard parking would be rather easy to find, and indeed it was . . . Cheaper than a KSU game.  W had to walk about a mile, but that was ok.  Lambeau is in the middle of neighborhoods, and it was an enjoyable trek through the tailgating that was going on.

We did not exactly know where we were going, so when we found our gate, we went inside.  I wish we had taken advantage of the Lambeau Leap statue and taken a picture of us.  But we did not know . . . 
And Don was anxious to get inside - never mind that we were over an hour and a half early.

Once inside, we considered going into the NFL store, but it was so crowded, we did not.  Instead, we found a mini-store where Don could buy his hat.  I wanted to buy a cheese coozie, but we did not need it, so I didn't.  We walked around the concourse a few times to work off the cookies and sandwiches, then proceeded to our seats.

We saw plenty of crazies inside - cheese heads, crazy hair, lots of beads . . . and frozen tundra!

We had made a sign that said, "We knew Jordy when . . . KSU" that got a lot of attention.  These fans love Jordy Nelson!

Our seats were near the tunnel where the players come out, and we were near where the players do the Lambeau Leap.  We only had one on our end, unfortunately.  

The pre-game, which included a former NFL player from Hawaii who sang the National Anthem, set the stage for a fun day, and the perfect weather did not hurt!  Unfortunately, the first play of the game was a fumble by the good guys, and before we knew it, the score was 21 -3.  Yikes!  But we did not give up, and the Pack began chipping away.  Our boy, Jordy, had the game of his life, and he and the rest of the team came back for a win!  Unfortunately, the kids left at half to get back to Chicago and missed the best part of the game.  Before they left, we took this picture in the concourse.

Just before they left us!
We sat in their seats . . . higher up so we could see the plays develop better.

Some things we noticed:  the bowl at Lambeau was very well done;  Packer fans do not stand for kick-offs (what is up with that? We do in KC);  Arrowhead is a much louder stadium;  fans should not be allowed to have beer in cups because they invariably spill it . . . all over their neighbors.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Lambeau, and now that I have inspected the facility and know that it is being taken care of, I do not have to check it every year.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fish Boil

When Don asked friends about what to do in Door County, one of the first items mentioned was a fish boil.  We did not know what it was, exactly, but Don did his research and made reservations at the White Gull Inn in Fish Creek.

At 5:15, after trying to walk off all the calories we had consumed during the day, we checked in.  Patrons first were asked to go outside where they could get a drink and watch the boil.  The cook had started the potatoes, and then, about 20 minutes into it, he put some salt in and then the whitefish.  A little kerosene later, which caused the flame to roar, which caused the water to superboil, which caused the fat to boil over the side, and the food was done.

The buffet meal consisted of whitefish (all one could eat), potatoes, fresh breads, and cole slaw.  We were trained on how to debone our fish, and once we got that accomplished, it was "down the hatch!"  Afterward, we were treated to fresh cherry pie and ice cream.  Yum!

Eating Our Way Through Door County

We had been told the food in Door County was off the charts, so with Melinda's help, we targeted a few places to eat.  Before the kids arrived, we stopped in at the Town Hall Bakery.  We had not researched it, but we would have chosen it if we had.  We both had very interesting meals, but my sandwich won (or at least I thought so).  It was similar to the Lumberjack Sandwich, but instead of apples, they used pears.  Wonderful!  Another interesting thing about the restaurant was there was no way to heat the building.  Therefore, they shut down for the winter.

The next day, Don really wanted to eat at Al Johnson's, because they have goats grazing on their roof.

Since that restaurant did not score on Melinda's foodie scale, Don and I ate there Thursday night.  He had a traditional pork dinner, and I had Swedish pancakes with lingonberries.  They were delish!

The kids arrived on Friday, and our first meal together was at the Shoreline, a restaurant on the far north shore.  We all had some form of fish, and although I thought it was good, I felt like we could have gotten much of the food at other places.  But it was an enjoyable evening.  Good thing I did not know what was going to happen on Saturday.

We started out Saturday morning at Gramma's bakery, where we split a cinnamon roll and a caramel pecan roll.  Then at ten, we stopped at the Door County Ice Cream Factory, where we had some ice cream.  That was when we realized that Melinda wanted to try as many places as we could . . . And we literally ate our way through the Saturday.  By the end of the day, we had visited the Door County Creamery, where we ate their goat's mile ice cream (awesome), MacReady's in Egg Harbor that specialized in artisan bread (yummy!), two different orchards where we bought all sorts of foods, and the Chocolate Chicken coffee store, where Don bought a new flavor of coffee.  And we still needed to eat dinner at the fish boil.

On Sunday morning, we made one last stop at the Door County Bakery.  I had been told about Corsica Bread, and yes, it was outstanding, but the sandwiches and the cookies were, too.

Good thing we left Door County . . . It would be easy to put on a lot of pounds there.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lighthouse Summer

In April when we were planning our summer trips, I never dreamed lighthouses would be one of the themes.  And after we left Oregon, I thought we had left the lighthouses behind us.

Fast forward to September and Wisconsin.  When Don informed me there was a lighthouse just down the road from our RV park, we knew we had to go.  This afternoon, we visited the lighthouse near Fish Creek in Peninsula State Park.  We arrived just in time to catch the last tour.

The lighthouse was the first of 350 built after the Civil War, and it has been automated since the 1920's.  Its Fresnel lens is much smaller than those on the Oregon coast, but since it did not have to shine 26 miles into the ocean, it makes sense.  

The building itself is much more hospitable than any of those we saw in Oregon.  The elegance of the living quarters surprised us - wood floors, four wood stoves, three bedrooms, a parlor, a living room, a dining area, and they even had a piano in the living room. To get the piano to the building took a Herculean effort with many men dragging it up a steep hill from the lake below.  The only downside to the site is that it still does not have electricity.

Thre is a possibility we will see another lighthouse or two this weekend, but if not, that is ok.  We have enjoyed our lighthouse summer.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Wish I Were Cool

I said to Don today.  If I were cool, I would like the taste of beer and would be able to go into a bar and drink it with you.

If I were cool, I would like the taste of wine and would enjoy a glass of wine at lunch or at dinner.

I do enjoy being with my friends while they imbibe in their favorite beer or wine . . . So maybe that makes me almost cool.

And perhaps it scares my friends and family to think what I would be like if I did enjoy adult beverages. Yes, maybe it is better for me not to be cool after all.

I Had a Wooden Whistle

. . . and it wouldn't whistle,
No matter how I tried.
It was a fine wooden whistle
But it wouldn't whistle
So I sat right down and cried.

This little song came into my head when we were sitting near the lake at the University of Wisconsin.  Out of the blue, the loudest whistle I have ever heard began to bellow.  I had to cover my ears as it blew louder and louder.

Don said it was a steam whistle and he took a picture of it.

Dr. Google, bless her heart, enlightened us as to its function.  It is used to warn sailors of impending bad weather or of sundown, so they can get their boats off the lake.  

Dr. Google said it is tested once a week and they blow the whistle if bad conditions are due within an hour.  We had been informed that the bad weather was going south of us, so we attributed the 1:51 start time as a test. 

About an hour later, a sudden shower blew in and so did the winds.  It occurred to us when we took this picture of the DU house that perhaps the whistle blowers knew more than we did.  The picture is now an accurate reflection of how high the whitecaps were, but I would not have wanted to be on the water with this kind of choppiness!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The University of Wisconsin

Don and I spent about four hours walking around the University of Wisconsin.  Initially we had thought we would be able to have lunch with Amanda Rogers, a former TIS student who is making quite a name for herself in the international community.  Unfortunately, she has had many distractions lately and we were unable to connect. But just seeing where she works was fun.

We decided to go eat at the food court in the Student Union.  We had the choice of many food offerings, and Don chose German.  Imagine that.  Beer is served on campus, so he tried their Rathskellers blend, which he enjoyed.  But the best part of the lunch was its setting.

While we were sitting outside near the lake, I heard some music come on.  Looking up, I saw some people hanging on ropes from the roof of a nearby building.  I finally figured out that they were doing a dance while rappelling.  For now, pictures will have to do, but once I can get my video uploaded to youtube, I will.  Check back because it is a fun video to watch.

We took some time to visit the bookstore and the union, stopped at Starbucks, and then drove around to find the Kappa and DU houses.  That was easy, as we had driven by both on our way in.  The Kappa house is quite a stately building, and we do not know how the DUs get any studying done with their location on the lake (picture in next blog).  We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the campus.

New Glarus

When we were planning our trip to Wisconsin, the Luhrs Ladies, particularly Victoria, told us we needed to go by New Glarus, a Swiss town not far from Madison.  Besides begin a quaint town, it is the home of the New Glarus brewery.  That's all Don needed to hear.

Finding the entrance to the brewery was somewhat challenging . . . So glad we had called ahead after we read we could not take the RV to the parking lot.  Don unhooked the Jeep and we were off.  As we entered the driveway, we saw this lovely quilt block on the side of the entrance barn.  There must be a quilt trail somewhere in the county.

The brewery just opened a large expansion in July.  Although we did not see what it was like before, the new additions impressed us.  As Don purchased his tasting glass, I headed to the self-guided tour.  I hope they put out a more information signs about brewing beer, as we would have enjoyed reading about it, but the tour was still quite interesting.  My mechanical engineer was enthralled with the first-class installation of the equipment.  

The engineer taking pictures of the equipment

After finishing the tour, we frequented the gift shop.  I had to put the brakes on Don, but we had enough money left to purchase a little of the New Glarus beer.  Their offerings include Totally Naked, Two Women, Spotted Cow, Staghorn (which is this year's Octoberfest beer), and Cabin Fever (which we tried to buy but couldn't because it is a winter beer).  Don's take on the three he tried was that they were delicious.  Not one was "out in left field."  I think that speaks well for the New Glarus Brewery.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Mississippi and Hannibal

Although Don has seen the Mississippi, I never had (except for in an airplane), so I was looking forward to our trip to Hannibal, Missouri.

I had heard a lot about Hannibal when I studied Mark Twain.  I wish I had paid better attention to my teachers, as Mark Twain was quite an interesting character.

We spent quite some time going through the museum dedicated to Mark Twain, and I loved how the designers took excerpts from his writings and introduced us to the people or the situations that caused him to write about them.  Once I saw the Mississippi, I was amazed that any mother would let her children play near it . . . but it was a different time!

We tried to visit the museum dedicated to Jim, the freed slave in Huck Finn.  Unfortunately, it was closed, but I am glad the town has seen to it to have a museum dedicated to the African-American community.  It is about time.

Don took some time to emulate Tom Sawyer . . .

Since we had not eaten lunch, we went to the Mark Twain Brewery, a new bar in the area.  The food was good, but it was Don's flight of beer that was memorable.  Although they were all interesting, the one that he will always remember is the one with habanero chiles in it.  It was called Winnie Pepper Wheat.  Don had me taste it, and it reminded me of the first time I ate hot Chinese mustard.  Yikes!  Cleared those sinuses.  Don called this beer "one from left field" since it was so different from any other beer he had ever had.  It was not his favorite, but he appreciated that with the right meal, it would be good.

As we left Hannibal, we came upon this bridge.  As those of you who read my blog know, I am a sucker for bridges.  The whole construction of them fascinates me.  I wish I could have gotten a better picture of it, but this shows its long span and the intricacy of it.

We drove along the Mississippi for quite a ways and saw many other very interesting bridges.  I would like to spend more time in this area.  But that will be in another trip!

New Tailgaters

Probably the most rewarding part about our tailgating is watching young people turn into responsible adults turn into parents.  At one time, we were those responsible adults who turned into parents, and I am so enjoying watching the next generation do the same thing.

Last year, our first official "tailgate baby" joined the fray.  He was still a baby, but by the end of tailgate season, he was beginning to stand.  Hold on, because this year he is completely mobile!  He loves to play hide-and-seek around the bed in the RV, and he is most willing to engage in everything tailgate.

Two new tailgaters will be joining us this year.  One arrived at the first game.  She is nearly a year old, is all smiles, and loves to look in the mirror.  Despite the heat, she managed very well.  One thing we  did notice is that she was fascinated with the young man and kept trying to kiss him.  He was not impressed, but Mom and Dad are going to have to watch this little one - ha, ha!

We have yet to meet the third little one, but come Octoberfest, we hope he will be in attendance.  He is only about 6 months old, but I know he, too, will be a fun addition.

I am hesitant to name names on the net, so they will just be he and she on my blogs.  Those who know them will know to whom I am referring, and those who do not know them probably will not care so much about who they are as to how cute they are.

We do have one requirement . . . Parents must bring pictures that we can put on the microwave - sort of a Rogue's gallery.  This way, we can keep track of our little ones and their progress.

"Aren't we cute?"

"Can I give you a kiss?"
I love our new additions to our tailgate crew!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reclining Airline Seats

This past week, three incidents of rage over a reclined airline seat brought back vivid memories of an incident we had while returning from Greece in December 2011.  It was probably one of the more bizarre incidents of my life.

The flight from Athens was a very early morning one, so once we got in the air, I reclined my seat to sleep.  When breakfast was served, the man behind me had the flight attendant ask me to push my seat up.  Sure, no sweat.  Made sense while he ate.  So I pulled it up.

Once the flight attendant picked up our breakfast trash, I reclined my seat again.  Suddenly, the man behind me started pounding on my chair.  "You B@@@," he screamed.  "You lousy B":*&."  And he went on and on.  I immediately pulled up my seat, shrinking down into it.  Don, sitting next to me, was wondering what was happening and he, too, sunk into his seat.  The man railed on and on.  I said I was sorry, but that did not help.  Scream, scream, scream.  He had had a large bottle of water on his table and apparently when I leaned my seat back, it spilled.  I refrained from saying, "In the States we put our lids on our water."

Eventually, as he went on and on, a woman about three seats up from me, in her beautiful English accent, loudly said, "Be quiet.  You are awakening everyone on the plane.  She didn't mean to do it.  Shut up."

That quieted him down . . . but he silently fumed behind me.

Now nevermind that their child was continually kicking Diana's seat so she could not sleep.  And his wife was contributing to the noise by berating me as well.  We just took it, which in hindsight appears to have been the right thing to do.

About 45 minutes later, we heard an urping noise behind us.  Their son started throwing up.  Frankly, Don and I silently smiled - served them right.  And when we stood up to exit the row, we did not look at them.  It was certainly the most uncomfortable I have been on an airplane in a long time.

Peach Cobbler

I do not normally make cobblers, not because I do not like them but because they seem like a lot of work, they heat up the house, and I eat the whole thing in one serving.  It could be the last reason is the most valid.  But I found a great recipe in my O Magazine, so I decided to try it.

The recipe was for blueberry cobbler, which would have been fine, but I had peaches.  So I found a recipe for the inside peach part, used the O recipe for the crust, and cooked it while we were at Kenneth and Melinda's.  

The crusty part is a sugar cookie recipe . . . It just sounded too good not to try, and it was.  It was so good, it is now a permanent part of my baking repertoire.  That does not mean much since I have a small inventory, but this one is wonderful.

I think any sugar cookie recipe would do.  After chilling it for about an hour, just cut it into pieces, lay it on top of the fruit, and cook at 350.  The instructions said to cook for an hour, but mine would have been a little crispy (or cripsy, as I like to say) - it was more like 40 minutes.

We loved this new topping.  It was a little crispy, but sweet and delicious.  I believe cobbler will be cooked a little more often at our house!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Each year about this time, I have a post about spider webs and their beauty.  As much as I hate running into them, they fascinate me.

When I posted the following picture, which is the best I have taken, I had some very funny comments about it.  I said that I loved and hated webs.

Debra made two of the funniest.  First she said running into a web gives a person 30 minutes of cardio in one second.  SO TRUE!  Then she said, in response to Doug who said he goes outside arms swinging to make sure he doesn't get a web to the face, that after that, she always wonders where the spider is.  SO TRUE AGAIN!  Yech.

Anyway, this web has been built near a light in our back yard, and the placement of it allows for what I think is a pretty cool picture.

Monday, September 1, 2014


It seems appropriate that just after returning from Whistler and Oregon, the lands of lumber, we are slated to attend a football game against a team whose mascot is a lumberjack.  How cool!  I had to do something out of the ordinary for it.

First, I googled "lumberjack food" to see if anything would pop up.  I do not know why I even thought it was a bizarre idea . . . within seconds I had everything from Lumberjack Party to Lumberjack Cake to . . . aha!  Lumberjack Sandwiches.

They sounded a little different, so Don and I decided we would try them first.  Bread, a butter/mayo mix, cheddar cheese, apple slices, bacon, and maple syrup.  We followed the instructions, took our first bite, and . . . YUM!  We were surprised by how good they were.

To make sure, we made one for the Gaskills.  They, too, liked them, so the decision was made.  Lumberjack sandwiches.

Then Don had the brilliant idea to take his electric chainsaw with  purple bow on it for the centerpiece.  We let Kip, the tree man, do the honors of placing it on the table when the time came.

Don, Rick, and Christy actually grilled the sandwiches, and many were a little hesitant to try them.  But when all was said and done, we were only left with about three sandwiches (2.5 in reality). . . which is fewer than we expected.  I would say it was a great day!

Lumberjack Sandwiches

1T. softened butter mixed with 1 t. mayonnaise/sandwich
1.5 slices cooked bacon
three thin slices of Granny Smith apple
two slices of cheddar cheese
two slices of bread
1 t. maple syrup

1.  Butter one side of each slice of bread with butter mixture.  Place one slice of cheese of the dry side of each slice, and place both, butter side down on a hot griddle or skillet.

2.  Put three slices of apple, bacon, and maple syrup on one slice of bread.

3.  Turn the other slice on top of the sandwich.  Press down to compact and cook.

4.  Flip over to grill the other side.  When done, slice in half and serve.


Homemade salsa, beef chip dip, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, Call Hall ice cream . . . yum