Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer "Bucket List" Check Off

Just a few days are left of summer, and the mental "Bucket List" of things to do is about to expire with the coming of Labor Day. We have had such a great summer going to concerts at Millennium Park, walking to get frozen treats at Yogurt Square, eating al fresco when possible, going to the beach, going to lovely weddings, getting to our cabin. The last on the list was getting Miss E on the train to have a downtown experience with her Papa and MeMo.
And, happily, that has now been accomplished!

We took her on the Brown Line to the Madison Wabash stop. Far more than the stops on the
train were her why questions...

Why was the train stopping? Why are the doors closing?  Why is the woman holding a bag?
Why, why, why?  She loved seeing the people get on and off and the doors opening and closing and the ding dong of the bell announcing the closing of the doors.

Once off the train, we walked over to Millennium park for a picnic by the Bean. (Otherwise know as Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor). She asked if she could eat the Bean. No, we explained, it is only shaped like a bean and is made out of shiny material one would certainly not want to eat!

Then we ate our picnic supper on a table near the Bean. Food finished! Off to the Bean, with a stop to change into her bathing suit and cover-up.

Then, at last, to the "Face Fountain" (Crown Fountain byJaume Plensa) for some splashing fun!
(Miss E is the running pink dot to the right of the mouth of the face.)


We simply had the best time! Nothing like summer in the city with our grand-daughter - check and double check!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Going to the Fair (P*S*C* #51)

Hard to believe, but in the whole time I have been going to the cabin (38 years) I never even knew about the Iron County Fair! The local newspaper had the fair as its lead story, so we put that our our list of things to do last weekend. 

It was a BLAST! First we saw all the animals raised by the 4H kids: cows, horses, sheep, chickens, hogs, goats about up close and personal!

I so enjoyed how the animal stalls and exhibit barns had hand-written notes by the young care-takers introducing themselves and their animals.

Outside on the fairgrounds were food booths and carnival rides.

We think Miss E might really enjoy these next summer.

It was also fun to check out the arts and crafts barns.

Then, the pinnacle of our day - going to the SICK AIR show. (It had nothing to do with the environment.) Held in the Grandstand, the Sick Air-ists were motorcycle stunt men.  Using bikes and a ramp, they propelled themselves into the air and caused gasps and cheers from the
audience. (Thank you, John, for not being a motorcycle stunt man!)

We ended our day by attending the hog auction in which young (to us) 4H kids
showed their animals around the rotunda and bidders provided means for these
kids to see a dream achieved with the funds made from the selling of their animals.

It's fair to say we enjoyed the fare of the fair, fair and square!

Friday, August 24, 2012

We Won! (P*S*C* #51)

We came as visitors to a lecture, competed as contestants and walked away
with prizes. 
Let's back up a bit.  First, we went to the Ottawa Visitor Center near
our cabin.  There was a program about black bears.  We have seen them
nearby and wanted to know more. 

But before the program was fully underway, the presenter led about 50 attendees through
the fun and engaging "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" with motions.

Loved it!

Then the presenter (I wish I could remember his name - Steve?) told us that instead of
a lecture, we were going to learn about bears by playing a game show with questions.
Winners would win prizes by choosing the answers from multiple choice questions.
Losers would also win prizes.  Count me in! 

Realize that black bears in Michigan number from between 15,000 to 19,000 and
90% of those bears live in the forests of the Upper Peninsula.  It's a wonder we
have not seen more near our cabin grounds, but they are a bit on the shy side unlike
their grizzly cousins.

The question I got right was about the birth weight of the bear cubs: between 2 and 7
oz.  The Smokey Bear Key chain is now mine!   Wes scored a zipper-pull thermometer
for answering correctly about the male bear living in an area of about 100 square miles
while the female has an area of 10 to 20 square miles due to her cubs.

Much was learned in this program.  It was highly BEARable!  For further info, clink on this

Monday, August 20, 2012

Picture This (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #51)

This time when I packed Pink for our third (and final) trip to our North Woods cabin, I also
packed two old photo albums and a new book I found at the library:  DEAR PHOTOGRAPH
by Taylor Jones.  The author explains how it all started by sitting in his old boyhood kitchen
while going through old photographs. Once the photo was in his grasp, he matched it with the
current-day background and snapped a picture of the "vintage" picture...get it?

This got me going!  How fun would it be to use our kids-at-the-cabin photos?  Answer:
waay fun.  Oh, and the author also suggests writing a little caption to go with the photo as if
writing a letter.  So with this in mind, here goes!

Photo #1
Dear Photograph,
    How was I supposed to know it would eventually be my job to put up and take down
this dock when I grew up?  And, sheesh, it's the same old dock some twenty five years
later!  At least Dad still pays me in steaks.


Photo #2

Dear Photograph,
    Who could ever imagine all the times I'd pass through this back door to our cabin?
Not only me now, but my husband, my daughter and the new "bun" growing inside
me this summer have passed through the door - trying not to slam it, of course, in 2012.

Photo #3

Dear Photograph,
     These two kids had a love/hate relationship sometimes.  I hoped that they would get
along someday and become friends.  It happened!  Yay!!!


Photo #4

Dear Photograph,
     Even though the oldest two never married each other like their moms had planned,
they are still buddies!  And the youngest three are, too.  We have always loved those
handsome, charming Rholl boys.

The Lindahls

Photo #5

Dear Photograph,
     Sitting together on these lawn chairs, (oldest to youngest from left to right), they still
make their parents proud - and six more kids have been born since this picture of them
was taken!  And one is now even a grandpa himself!!


Photo #6

Dear Photograph,
    We are now grandmas and we don't "do" perms anymore, thank goodness!


Photo #7

Dear Photograph,
     I miss those days when we had all the kids around and made them do things they
didn't want to do like hiking up the hill.  And when Grandma could make the hike with
us, too.

Kris, Renee and Deb

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In January, I Want to Remember this Day!

Let's face it - fall is coming.  Cars are parked in front of schools.  The supply lists are out for students and they are shopping like crazy.  Even some trees are dropping leaves.  And I lament a little about this summer drawing to a close --- it's been a good one!

We had a nearly perfect day at the beach not so long ago.  It had been close to 30 years, we figured, since we went swimming in Lake Michigan in Chicago.

Montrose Beach was calling our names and we heeded her call!

The water temperature was just right.  The sandy beach continued into the water with no scummy seaweed or rough rocks.  Waves made it seem like we were in the ocean.

Happy families surrounded our little spot on the beach with shovels and pails in hand and the making of sand balls.  (Have you ever done this?  You wet sand and form it into a ball about the size of a grapefruit.)

We double dipped.  Once was not enough to satisify.

It was glorious.

And I must remember this feeling once we arrive at January!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Out with the Old and In with LITTLE RED

Had enough of all the old stuff I've been posting lately?  Me, too!  Let's get on with something new in our neighborhood.  That being a certain little girl who got a certain little outfit from her MeMo.

Quite a while back I spotted this Little Red Riding Hood outfit/costume.  It was cute.  I bought it.  It was way too big --- but not any more.

Over the weekend Miss E tried the costume on.

I told her a tamed-down version of the story in which nothing dreadful happens to the Grandmother, and the wolf runs away never to be seen again. No huntsman, that's for sure.

For the next couple of hours, we played out the story:  I was the sick Grandmother, she was "Little
Red" skipping (jumping, hopping, tip-toeing, crawling) through the forest with a basket full of goodies (fake foods including a lemon, pickles, a pancake, french fries, chocolate milk, eggs, bread, etc.) to feed Grandmother back into health.  Then I would I have bedtime song sung to lure me to sleep (her choice/my favorite was a repeated chorus from the benediction "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" ) and then a countdown to wake up.

Once up, the feeling-well Grandmother (requiring a stool upon which to sit as she's old and can't easily sit on the floor) would go for a picnic with Little Red spread out on the quilt I made for her birth.  And repeat. Repeat, repeat. 

There are merits to hot days when you are stuck inside!  But, please, be on the lookout for wayward wolves who aren't invited indoors!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Well-Used Old Cookbooks (P*S*C* #50)

Cleaning out the cupboards at our cabin revealed an oft-overlooked treasure: the cookbooks.
Generally, we cook and bake pretty basic meals there such as burgers and dogs, spaghetti, and scrambled eggs.  Occasionally, the raspberry pickers will search out a recipe for pie or jam.  But this time, I really delved into the old cookbooks used by Wes's mom and his grandmother Martha.

Titles of cookbooks included:
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS (1950 red and white checked classic)
MARY DUNBAR'S COOKBOOK (Jewel Tea Company 1927)

My own personal favorite was OUR OWN RECIPES, not only because Martha's handwriting was on the front cover, but also because Martha had written notes throughout the book pointing out Carol's banana bread and chocolate fudge and David's spice cookies.  Apparently, something was wrong with the Daffodil Cake because Martha had placed an "x" next the the recipe with the note "do not make."

The MARY DUNBAR'S COOKBOOK brought the most detailed information about using Jewel products for the ingredients.  An entire page was devoted to recipes with corn flakes!

And who could resist all these recipes using cocoa?  Not me!

The back section of the cookbook had recipes for feeding the Invalid - accent on the the first syllable please, not the second!  You would pray to get better after having to swallow down most of these personal yummy favorite is offered now to you for:

Lemon Albumen
1 egg white
2 t. sugar
3/4 c. water
1 1/2 T lemon juice

Method (cookbook word here)
Beat egg slightly with a fork.  Add sugar and water.  Add lemon juice. 
Serve at once over cracked ice.

Following the Invalid recipes was a section on foods to eat if you wanted
to lose weight.  Much toast was to be consumed.  I'm assuming no butter was involved.

Part of me would very much like to take the cookbooks home and test out some of
more interesting recipes.  But  somehow, these books are meant to be a part of the cabin
telling a story about the women who used the books long ago.  Albumen, anyone?