Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meyer Weekend 2010

The annual gathering of Karen's mom's extended family did not include a wedding this year, and fortunately did not include a funeral either. Our destination this summer was Galena, Illinois where we stayed at the LeFevre Inn and Resort, a comfortable little group of buildings on a few acres of rolling grass with a grand view of Galena and the Mississippi River Valley.

This is the gazebo as we found it on the evening we arrived. A few family members chatting inside while the sunset moves from one beautiful shade to another.

The grounds at the LeFevre Inn were not heavily landscaped, but nicely kept, very quiet, and afforded us more elbow room than we required. Even though we weren't the only guests at the resort, we were definitely in the majority, which we took to mean we could hold the family Olympics in the pool, and shoot the potato gun at will across the yard.

Speaking of yard, here's a view off the deck outside our room. This view is facing northwest, and the Mississippi River is between the light green grass in the foreground and the dark green hills in the distance.

This shot is looking more directly north toward Galena. Bucolic (or pastoral) farms in the foreground give way to the city of Galena in the middle distance. The brick building with the clock tower midway between the barn and the water tower is an old school refurbished into condominiums. It sits on the bluff overlooking downtown Galena, which is not visible in this shot.

Karen and Lily relaxing with Laura after breakfast. The two larger buildings on site were connected by this multi-level walkway that allowed for even better views, and easy access between the buildings.

The main attraction for this trip to Galena was the shopping in the old downtown. Eighty five percent of the buildings in town are in a National Register Historic District, and with charm like that, even hicks like us can enjoy a few hours of shopping.

Fortunately, there are plenty of antique stores in Galena. So many, in fact, that we didn't visit them all before it was time to head back to the resort for lunch. The image above made me think of someone that probably could have found something she liked in this store.

Karen came across this delightful little doll house sewing machine that reminded her of the doll house furniture she used to play with.

What really caught Karen and Lily's attention was the clothing and vintage patterns (who would have guessed?). In this shot Lily is examining a lacy dress that was almost a hundred years old, and unfortunately priced much higher than we could justify.

This collection of books made me think of our church family at Providence. The title: "War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." The titles should not be surprising since Galena was U.S. Grant's adult home.

Here's the old school we could see from our resort, and yes, I could see the resort from the street in front of this building.

Gretel enjoying a cold drink after a hard afternoon of playing in the pool with cousins.

These are the buildings that comprise the accommodations at LeFevre Inn: two single family, two bedroom cabins on the right; a larger building with eight spacious motel-type rooms on the left; and a larger gathering area in the middle building. The stone area at the top of the grassy slope in front of the cabins has outdoor furniture around a fire pit. We entertained ourselves by watching the younger children make smores over the fire one evening.

Finally, another sunset over the 1 acre pond just before the bats moved in to find an evening meal. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Corn in the backyard 2010, weeks 11 & 12

July 11

July 18 (8:18 PM)

We were off having fun last weekend, so we weren't home for the normal 9 AM corn shoot on Sunday morning. I hope that inconsistency in the data doesn't cause anyone too much consternation. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Construction update #36

This little job was way overdue, but because it had a couple of preparatory steps that were bigger than my tools, it took awhile to get to where we are today. You may remember we had the electrical service to our house changed so that it ran underground and not through one of the trees in our front yard. Before the service was changed, we had run conduit underground most of the way from the barn to the house, but stopped short of the house until we knew where the new meter would be hung. After the new meter was hung, my buddy Bud temporarily ran wires to the barn from the new meter through the incomplete conduit. In order to finish running all the conduit, we had to move the phone box to the side of the house, remove the old 24' long pole, and remove the remnants of the old service that were still underground.

Having accomplished the preparatory tasks, the coast was clear to finish the conduit for the barn main supply, and add a couple of extra conduits for potential future needs to run other wires to the barn. The phone line is the only one left that needs some attention. You'll notice I had to add a few feet of wire when I moved the box from the pole to the side of the house, so we have at least two splices in the yard that I'm aware of. I'll probably run another conduit through this dirt area just for the phone line so when we pour the section of sidewalk that's been removed, the new phone line can be pulled through easily.

This is the first time in over 50 years that there hasn't been a pole or ditch in this part of the yard, and hopefully we'll have grass growing here soon so you'll have few clues about all that's been changed in this area lately. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Corn in the backyard 2010, week 10

July 4

The stalk I've been watching measured 98 inches tall on the 4th, which means it was "eight feet high on the fourth of July!"

Although there were tassels appearing last week, they were much more wide spread this week, along with the ears you can see on the stalks in this image. Even though the corn is quite a bit less uniform this year than in the past, most of it is looking pretty good. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Providence Independence Day Celebration

The Sanford family once again graciously invited the entire church to their home for our Independence Day celebration (on the 3rd this year). Although the temps were warm, the shade trees in the yard coupled with a light wind made for delightful weather for an afternoon and evening outdoors. Of course, what made the day truly delightful was simply being together as a church family, as evidenced by the following photos...

Geneva, who like the other two-year-olds, couldn't get enough of the sliding board.

Ruth, pensively looking for a playmate.

Mr. Niesen in a rare moment when he found a chair to sit in. His level of activity makes the rest of us dads look like couch potatoes. Okay, maybe the rest of us ARE couch potatoes.

Mr. Castle and Mr. Vest doing little to dispel the notion that the rest of us are couch potatoes. Actually, they had just finished dinner and were thinking fond thoughts of dessert.

Micah and Johanna in a deep and stimulating conversation with Elder McDonald. Evidently little Henry has never heard anything quite so shocking!

Elder Price wondering why the dessert was moved inside so early.

Ashton, after donning colonial garb, felt the muse come upon him and demanded an opportunity to read the text of the Declaration of Independence.

And last but not least, little Caleb who is showing evidence that it's close to bed time (since he's clutching dad's pants leg).

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Raspberry harvest

Even though this picture represents our entire harvest so far this summer, we're still tickled. You see, we just planted eight raspberry canes in late March (courtesy of the Bandy family), and we didn't expect any fruit until next year. The plants are still pretty puny, but when your garden exceeds your expectations who can complain?