Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hibiscus and Hollyhocks

Former neighbor Judy's yard is in full bloom, even though she's not here to enjoy it.

Heather, up for a visit from Purdue, was quite impressed with the size of Judy's
hibiscus blooms. They're as big as dinner plates.

Our hollyhocks started blooming over the weekend. This is unexpected since these plants were eaten down to the ground twice by groundhogs.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mexican Fiesta

Kelly celebrates her birthday "The Hacienda Way."

Their wonderful wait staff brought out the birthday hat and sang their own special version of Happy Birthday.

Weko Beach

Monday I took a vacation day from work to join our visiting guests for a trip up to Weko Beach, on Lake Michigan in Bridgeman, Michian.

Even Bruce -- "I'm not a beach kinda guy" -- had a great time.

Although it's almost August, the water in Lake Michigan was not even 70 degrees. We did brave the elements and take a plunge -- here's a picture of Dave and Kelly to prove it.

The water really felt great after sitting in the 90-degree sun for a while.

Some joker (Bruce) threw a handful of popcorn near sleeping Dave's head just to watch the seagulls come in for the kill.

The waves were only three-inches high, but if you squint your eyes and open your ears, it's easy to imagine being on the beach by the ocean.

Happy Birthday Kelly B

Hey Kelly, it took me hours to figure out how to tie the balloon without popping it. You know the whole lack of opposable thumbs thing sort of slowed me down.

Anyhow... hope you have a wonderful birthday.

your pal,


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday Morning @ the Casino

Before and After.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hog Roast

Saturday afternoon we went to John's annual hog roast.

He cooked a 250 pound hog and there were many delicious side dishes.

Evansville friends, Dave and Kelly are up for the weekend, after moving daughter Heather back to Purdue. They had a great time meeting our Osceola friends.

Someone brought this little dog to the party. It was so ugly it was cute. They said it was a full blooded chihuahua.

Dave was the winner of the Corn Hole game.

But, Kelly and Sharon were the winners of the Euchre game.

Car Brings Back Memories for Grandma

This Model T Ford pulled in the parking lot behind us as I was parking at the new restaurant in Osceola. I was actually backing up to straighten my van in the parking spot when I heard the "oouuggaa" horn honking at me. Just a friendly warning that if I kept backing up, it would be quite costly.

Grandma really enjoyed seeing this car. It reminded her of a time, when as a young lady, her boyfriend (later husband) Wayne drove a Model T.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Butterfly Saw the Welcome Sign

Now that the butterfly bushes are in full bloom, we've seen so many different types of butterflies. They're all beautiful.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chef Jeff Would Be Proud

We started buying Chef Jeff celebrity tomotoes about three years ago and we've been happy with the results.

They're small and firm and don't have as much of the squishy stuff that I don't like (juice and seeds) inside.

Red Berries on the Asparagus?

According to the PlantAnswers website,

Asparagus is unusual, among our garden plants, in its flowering habit.

While nearly all of our vegetables bear both stamens and pistils (containing pollen cells and egg cells, respectively) on the same plant or in the same flower, asparagus has two kinds of plants.

About half bear only staminate (male) flowers; the others bear only pistillate (female) flowers from which the little red seed-bearing fruits develop. Both kinds must be grown near each other if seeds are to be obtained.

The Family with the Green Thumbs

Cousin Greg's tomatoes just keep growing and growing and growing.

Soon he'll need a ladder to harvest them.

Aunt Joyce Ann has many gardens around her country home in central Indiana.

She has a great eye for garden design. That, and the green thumb combine for wonderful results.

Bursting With Color

Don't you just love this time of year.

So much color in the garden.

It's like a rainbow sprouting out of the soil.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hey Butterflies... We're Open for Business!

Bruce's butterfly bushes are finally flowering.

We're always amazed that they come back each year, after we cut them completely back to the ground.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Protecting the Baby

I ran into Ann, a longtime friend / former co-worker, last Friday.

It's been a while since we've caught up with each other, but as I would expect from Ann, she's been keeping busy and helping Mother Nature protect the critters.

She is quite the nature lover and when she and her son were taking out some bushes from around her house, they noticed a bird's nest with fresh hatchlings.

Needless to say, the bush with the nest will stay intact until the little ones fly away from the nest.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Elkhart County 4H Fair

Elkhart County boasts that theirs is the largest county fair in the state -- attracting more than 300,000 people over the nine-day event. Well, if not for Bruce and I, it would have only been 299,998 people this year.

Taylor Hicks, of American Idol fame, was tonight's entertainment. Since all concerts at the fair are free with paid fair admission, we walked into the grandstands to take a photo of Taylor. One of the security guards told me that I was free to take photos, but I couldn't shoot any video. I assured him, with a straight face, that I wasn't shooting video (although I'm sure there's a huge demand for bootleg Taylor Hicks concert footage.)

We took a stroll through the cow barn to pick out the leather for our next sofa. Bruce really likes Guernsey. Not sure how it will look in the living room.

Elkhart County Sheriff Mike Books took time out of his busy schedule to chat with his old buddy Bruce. It's been over 20 years since they worked together.

The only ride that I would trust with my life at a county fair would be a ride on a horse.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Morning @ the Farmers Market

When I suggested to my mom (who is visiting from out of town) that we visit the new farmers market in Elkhart, she had in mind that it would be a typical farmers market. You know, a few trucks loaded up with mellons and a table with tomatoes and green beans.

She wasn't prepared for the 51,000 square foot barn that is the
American Countryside Farmers Market in Elkhart, Indiana.

Today's purchases: cherry pork sausage, monster cookies, blueberries, green beans, cheese bread, a baguette and plumbs.

Corn, Sausage and a TANK

Saturday afternoon we met Judy and Lynn at the "Tank" in Edwardsburg, Michigan for the VFW's annual corn and sausage roast.

It's an event to raise funds for various veteran's programs. The corn was beyond delicious. I walked out to see if they cooked it on a grill or if it was boiled. The chef proudly showed me his high tech corn cooker (a trash can).

The tank that sits in font of this VFW is a Main Battle Tank, model M60A3. It was in service from 1960 through 1982 and was used in the Vietnam war.

Progressive Garden Tour

Saturday evening's progressive garden tour was quite enjoyable.

Friend Coni came up with the idea... start at one house for appetizers and a garden tour and move to the next house for garden tour and dinner.

Her friends Gordon and John have many beautiful gardens around their home. I was especially impressed by the giant phlox and many hidden gardens in their back yard.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Morning in the Garden

This morning's garden harvest: strawberries, zucchini, green pepper, jalapeno peppers and cucumber.

An extreme closeup of this morning glory shows a bee doing his early morning harvesting duties.

Mount Michiana

Since I had the day off today, I decided to start it off with a workout at O'Briens in South Bend. Traveling on the bypass, I noticed that the clouds sort of looked like mountains on the horizon.

Now, I'm sure it's not a good idea to take photos as you're driving on the highway at 65 mph. But, it can't be any worse than talking on a cell phone.

Fridays @ the Fountain

Today's Fridays @ the Fountain featured the band, Blues Inc.

We met up with friends Cheryl and Fria for lunch at the Vine.

Mom is in town this weekend, as we help her celebrate her birthday.

We saw South Bend Mayor, Steve Leucke, enjoying his lunch at the fountain. I had to go up and let him know we appreciate the effort the city is making to bring people downtown with fun activities like Fridays @ the Fountain, East Race Waterway rafting and the Sunday bands at Seitz park.