Friday, August 11, 2017

Fire Starter



On Tuesday, we headed to my parents' lake cabin.
When we arrived, the lake looked cool and welcoming.

My parents have nurtured all manner of plants. 


My Dad was in the hammock, covered in toys. 
My nieces had buried him!



We were planning for our faux birthday party on Wednesday, and Cora helped make the frosting for Grandma's yummy layer cake.


Yum yum!



Here's what I was wearing (sorry for the poor lighting!): 
 top: Target
jeans: INC International Concepts (Macy's)


As the sun went down, Mark built a fire.


But then he had to go help the girlies get into bed,
and the fire began to struggle . . . 

I couldn't let that happen!

Happily, there was a lot of dry wood around. 


I started stocking the fire with dry stuff in a tepee shape.





 Then I lit some seaweed I had put inside the tepee.




And I blew on it!!!





And then all of a sudden, it burst into flame!!!!


I was proud and happy.




My parents joined me by the fire.



I kept the fire going until Mark came out and could take over.
He and my Mom are the masters of fire building,
but I guess I have learned a few tricks from them!


Over the next few days of sitting by the fire for a few minutes each evening,
I got 15-20 mosquito bites on my back upper thighs and bum right through my pants!  Those are VERY uncomfortable places to be bitten.  I've never been bitten like that in those areas before.




Gorgeous surroundings and family time were well worth the trial of mosquitoes.


The pelicans were headed off to bed, and so did we!



Friday, August 4, 2017

To Princeton


I woke up to a beautiful sky outside the window.
We were planning to head to Greg's Dad's house (and his dear wife Karen's!)
and we all decided to meet for an early dinner at Davanni's (yay for pizza!)

Greg and my Dad went out for an interesting and tasty lunch.


It's lovely!

After that, we lazed around and chatted.  It was a perfect morning.

Here's what I wore:
t-shirt: Target
skirt: Michael Michael Kors (Amazon)
bag: ABage (Amazon)
shoes - eventually: Target ballet flats



Yay!  We found it, and we were right on time.



I got a delicious gluten-free crust with green olives, black olives, mushrooms, onions . . . 
and missing pineapple, which I request, but which was accidentally left off.


Greg's Dad, Rick, and his wife, Karen:


Still wearing the same outfit!


We drove over the Mississippi River on our way back to their place.


This is how much of mid-Minnesota looks:

We could've bought sod or cow manure . . . 



There's their wonderful home!


And their wonderful cat!  She doesn't particularly like new people, but she's huge and fluffy and wonderful.  She loves to be brushed, so I lured her in by holding the brush and promising lots of brushing.   


Greg's Dad has gathered and restored some gorgeous old sewing machines.




And they have a fantastic humongous garden with lots of tasty veggies and fruit.
LOTS of raspberries! 


Plenty of flowers, too.






The next morning, was Sunday, and I got a text from one of the other 1:1 volunteers saying that one of our students was asking where I was.  I took a picture with an apricot tree in the yard to show him I was thinking of him! 


We had a relaxing morning and ate a delicious lunch at home.
Here's what I had . . . 

The plan for the rest of the day was to visit lots of Half Price Books stores!

The clouds were skittering across the sky.




Here was my outfit for the day.
I'm surprised how many different outfits worked with that little light blue kitty bag!
blouse: Maison Jules (Macy's)
skirt: Max Edition (Amazon)
bag: ABage (Amazon)

There's the first store!


Oops - a hardware store!


After shopping, we went to Donatelli's, a restaurant near where my parents used to live and near where I grew up.  I looked at the other patrons and thought that perhaps any of the many middle-aged people in there could have been someone with whom I went to junior or senior high school . . . 

This restaurant is well-known for having a "stage" above the booths along the wall that is always decorated with Pink Panthers in various scenarios.  It looks like this one was having a picnic.  They change the scenes regularly.




I wasn't very happy with the menu, though . . . 
the pizzas were VERY expensive, and the gluten-free options charged by the topping.
I chose the grilled vegetable salad (which was still sort of expensive from my perspective for a pile of veggies) AND they charged me extra for switching the roll to be gluten-free.  


It tasted great, though!



After that long day with lots of activity (and lots of time in the car, which is often a little rough on me), we decided on down-shifting on Monday.  We stayed up late Sunday evening watching "Forged In Fire" on the History channel - FASCINATING! - and stayed in bed longer Monday morning after that.  I did a little reading and we had some good time chatting.


Greg helped his Dad with some computer stuff, which I'm sure was very helpful!

Later that evening, a big storm rolled in.


Karen and I had been watching something or other, when the signal was lost.



The men had been working on computer stuff in the shop,
but they made their way in, and we enjoyed the quiet and the dark together.




Greg got his guitar and played soft beautiful music for us.
Rick and Karen got out wine and crackers.  It was fantastic!




What a fun experience!