Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Kitchen

Overwhelmed by unpacking and organizing the kitchen. I just want chocolate! And a nap!

It looks amazing and so does the dining room, pale bluish paint on the walls, lighter in the kitchen. The floor is an excellent match for the newly stained cupboards.

The granite is grayer than the sample and looks better for it. I had been worrying that it would be too blah, and the additional gray adds movement and life. The copper/maroon spots match the door handles very well. A nice touch. The granite gray is the same as the gray marble in the back splash.

White appliances add brightness, as does the island and trim. Shane had a good idea with the wainscoting. I always like that touch.

In an effort to keep appliances and stuff off the granite, why cover it up? I am turning the storage closet into an appliance storage and pantry. Hope to keep it simple and clean looking, no clutter.

Sure have a lot of orange stuff to lose. Simplify simplify simplify. Shane is a superhero remodel-er and decorator

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Dynkus Day

A Polish custom, Dynkus Day is Easter Monday, or Wet Monday. Wet referring to both the weather and the drinks. It also involves unions and politicians and hard boiled eggs and Polish sausage. It is mainly celebrated in South Bend, IN, and Buffalo, NY. It is celebrated on a par with St. Patrick's Day.

Hooples Bar in Bremen, IN, also celebrates Dynkus Day in a big way. There was a big Texas Hold'em going on at the front table. Drafts were $2 and all day, all you can eat sausage and hard boiled eggs for $7. The table next to ours, 3 drunk old farmers, or hippies, went through 3 pictures of dark brew while we were there. Several ladies were having fun too.

I was happy to enjoy my first northern Bloody Mary, the bland kind with dill pickles in them. And we had the mini Hoople burgers, excellent and very garlicky. Yum.

Then we went to visit Andrea and Ryan and the kids. Then we went to Rigolies for dinner, alcohol and pizza half price for Dynkus Day the salad was wonderful, Italian Salami, mozzarella cheese, black olives, Italian Dressing. Most excellent. The Chicken Parm was excellent too. My pizza had the wrong stuff on it, so they let me have that one and one with the right stuff, peperoni, hamburger and mushrooms. What a Dynkus Day treat, 2 pizza for $6.

So now we are back in the RV, and leaving for home in the morning. Ed was going to meet us here but his slide on his RV got stuck open, the motor broke. I can't wait to get home, except for the awful rain and cold and dreary clouds. April is a pretty cruel month too.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Grandpa with his hands full of baby Lane and baby Ellie, our little Easter Bundles!

Half of our grands, Lane, Ellie, Charlie and Julia

Holding Mr. K's beer

Tyson learning about the Mexican Caserones tradition

Charlie and his new, red birthday bike!

Grandpa and Julia giving Charlie a push

Mark, Katie and Lane

Tyson and Stephanie

Mark, Katie, Paul and Tyson, dinner at OutBack

Grandpa multitasking

Had a great Easter here in South Bend at the Dunn's house. Our two newest grand babies - Lane Sens and Ellie Dunn. Katie and Mark flew with Lane from NY, spent time in Grand Rapids and South Bend. Ryan and Andrea live in South Bend with new daughter Ellie, and Charlie and Julia.

Stephanie and Tyson drove down from Grand Rapids for the day too. It was much fun. We ate dinner at Outback and enjoyed no cooking or clean up. We were divided into two tables but it was still fun. I had crab cakes, prime rib and mashed potatoes, the crab cakes were the best I have ever had, lots of crab and very little cake. Everyone seemed happy, the kids were good and cute. That covers just about all the important stuff. Mark and Katie bought some delicious cake and cheese cake. We broke out the alcohol infused whipped cream. That was interesting and tasty.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter in South Bend

Charlie, Lane and Ryan

Lane's first swim in a pool

He likes it, maybe

Katie, Paul, Mark and Lane

Julia and Aunt Katie

Katie, Marjie and Lane

Baby doll Julia in her new swim suit, she has grown a lot since Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Pictures in Manhattan

Looking down from the hill, basketball court to the far left

Breezeway that connects the house with the garage

The house on the hill

Looking under rocks with teacher grandpa

Anna found this butterfly on the hill

butterfly camouflage, looks like a huge mouth

Grandpa, Emily and Patrick

Emily's first text

Emily teaching me how to text

Patrick the tiger

Sunday in Manhattan

Patrick, Julie and Sean

Julie and Patrick toasting marshmallows

Patrick wants to play football with Grandpa

Run out for a pass, Patrick


Megan, Patrick and Anna and bubbles

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise on Tuttle Lake, just north of Manhattan. We gave the kids some bubble blow. Had a lot of bubble fun.

Worst Grandmother Ever

Tree frog studies

Anna, looks like she got boinked on the head too

Paul, Megan and Anna


Grandpa loves BB

Emily and Grandma taking a break from round ball.

We have been playing our old legs off with the kids on this visit. It wasn't snowing or anything, and the yard at the new house is sheltered from the winds. Very pleasant. Megan and Anna are good basketball players, and so is Patrick. And since the basket is quite low, so is grandma. I always wanted to play basketball on a court make to scale for short white ladies. My dream came true here. If you can touch the net it is so much easier to make baskets! And if your opponent is 3 foot tall, all the better! So Patrick and I are just playing a pick up game and one of my shots banks off the backboard and gets him right in the face. Man, poor little guy, I couldn't stop laughing. He ran to mama, just to make me look bad. It was an accident! He cried again a little later, can't remember why, maybe a hockey stick incident or something. Or bumper cars? There are some benefits of getting old and forgetting stuff.

Oh, sweet little Emily loves bumper cars, and no one got pinched fingers. It was great, take note Timer and Sharon, Emily gets in the Little Tykes car and Patrick rides the trike. You are the motor for the car. Crash often.

Saturday the kids played outside all day, and the big deal was the chocolate milk they made in the tree house up in the woods. They used water and dirt and snails and worms. The tree frog escaped the potion, I have some standards. Tree frogs are favorites of mine, love the song at night.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trying Trip to Kansas

Passed a tug and barge on the ferry as we left Port A

Two dolphins saying good bye

Storms in OK

Our camp site, lake behind us

We watched the weather for a week before carefully choosing to leave Port A on April 14, checked the forecasts for Oklahoma City, and Manhattan, Kansas. There was a south wind all the way to Kansas. And we did have a warm wind through Texas. It was 94 degrees driving though Fort Worth. We stopped at Rockdale for lunch, it took extra time but it was worth it, great hamburgers.

Not far into Oklahoma the clouds looked ominous and threatening, I turned on the weather band on the radio and the tornado warnings were just ahead of us, from mile marker 22 to 45, we were at 14, and we didn't have an exit until 21, so we went to the gas station there, Paul was talking to others guys who stopped, keeping an eye on the clouds. I went online to see what was happening, and I have to tell you, the weather channel wasn't very helpful. So watching the cloud right in front of us, maybe a mile away, some clouds came down and started forming a loose funnel, with just the start of rotation, then it went back up into the big clouds, this happened 3 times before the clouds moved east. Just east of us there was a tornado that killed two people and did a lot of damage. Later we had another storm with hail. We stayed at a RV park right behind the gas station. We were thankful for the slow hamburger at lunch, if we had been earlier, we would have been right in it. And we didn't get hungry all night.

During the night it turned cold and windy. Very windy. Paul fought the wind all day, felt like a NASCAR driver, turning left all the time. The winds were 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50, which is enough to blow a large motor home into the other lane. We were tossed like eggs in a basket. It is hard to read some of our gauges and Paul didn't know we were getting 4 miles to the gallon mileage until we were almost to Manhattan, and he drove slow, had to. Oh well, we got here in one piece.

We are camped at Tuttle Lake Park, a federal park, so with our card it is $9 a night. Right on the lake, with electric and water. Not too far from Julie's.

We ate dinner at their country club, it was good and the kids were very good. It was cold and windy and was snowing when we left there. We were home by 9, and slept like rocks, it was cold, 34 degrees, but the wind laid down by dawn.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leaving Port A

New 9th graders at Port A High: Madison, JJ, Carlie and Rachel

Sherry hauling in the winnings on Poker night. She won the whole thing!

Have been packing up the motor home, leaving on Thursday morning. Tying up loose ends and saying good byes. Buying the special things we like to take home, shrimp and a new item this year, caramel from Wiltons candy store. It is exceptional, I got some with walnuts and some with pecans. Oh so yum. I think I need to get two more pounds though.

Sherry and I had lunch today at the Phoenix. Had an excellent chicken sandwich. I am going to miss her so much . We both find the best clothes when we go shopping. We even bought two shirts the same. For some reason this is very fun. And we love a Chinese Buffet in Flour Bluff for our lunches, and shopping at HEB. And everything, (for Susan).

Paul and I have decided we are allergic to the sea weed that is piled high on the beach. Perhaps the mold on it. Last week we had winds off the gulf and suffered and coughed and hacked and slept badly. We had a great allergy free winter, no problem from the red cedar pollen. So we are paying for it now. We had a day of west winds and felt better, went to Aransas Pass and felt great. So we hate leaving but won't miss the coughing.

We had so much fun this year, met many new friends, got to know old friends better, enjoyed exploring in the van. Good idea to bring that down. I joined the Poker Divas and play Texas Hold'em once a month, and even won two hands the last time we played. I am not a game player but love all being with the ladies.

We went dancing and listening to music often, got to know Cody Angel and learned we love the Texas Blues. Ate sushi and oysters and found some amazing new restaurants. Explored the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, saw Whooping Cranes and alligators, loved sitting at the park watching the pelicans, fishermen and acrobatic dolphins.

Had great times with Susan, Javiar and Carlie, Beth and David and JJ, Sandy and Shawn, Marcus and Beth, Frank and Denise, Mavis and Gary, Mary Lou and Tony, and it is getting late and names are eluding me now. Heidi! Kip! Mary and Randy. And many more.

I hate leaving now that it is warm, the unheated pool is in the 80s, and best of all, I can take a shower without turning on the water heater. The water is naturally hot.