Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Geocaching Eve



Last week we planned a geocaching outing for today, and we followed through on it despite the weather. It was a foggy, dreary, drippy, windy, chilly day - just the opposite of what you want for an enjoyable geocaching experience!

We did manage to have some fun in spite of conditions - Dick found five caches, and logged one DNF (Did Not Find). He found all of them; I seem to be losing my touch! One of them I could have found - I noticed the hole - but I didn't want to kneel down to investigate - I regret it now because I was skunked!

I visited Mother in the hospital while Dick made pea soup with our Christmas ham. The soup turned out to be delicious. We tried to stay awake to welcome in the New Year, but it was a lost cause. We went to bed around 10:30.

Happy New Year !

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Best Laid Plans

This day was all planned out. First, I was going to P.T. at 10:45. Dick and I were going to drop Jana at the airport at 12:30 and wave bye bye. Then Dick and I were going to go out to lunch.

Well, remember what Burns said about best laid plans? ("The best laid plans o'mice and men gang aft agley." [To a Mouse by Robert Burns, on ploughing up her nest, November, 1785])

Around 9:30 a.m. I got a panicky phone call from Betsy at Concord. She felt that Mother was worse and needed to see her doctor. I cancelled out of the P.T and headed for Concord Place. After various phone calls to Thirlby Clinic, it was decided to take Mother to Munson Emergency. Ann and Betsy helped me load Mom into the car, and the greeter at the Hospital put her in a wheelchair while I parked. Dick and Jana were left on their own to go to the airport.

We arrived at the E.R. around ll a.m., and it turned out to be a long, long afternoon. There were blood tests, X-rays, and various other tests. The final diagnosis is dehydration caused by flu-like symptoms. We talked to two doctors (an E.R. Doc and a Hospitalist), two nurses, two cleaning ladies, and one very accomodating volunteer.

In a prime example of polar opposites, the woman in the next bed was in the E.R. because of a drug overdose - actually drugs plus a mere pint of whiskey. And I was really glad that Mom is hard of hearing, because the language from the other side of the curtain was not exactly pristine.

Mom was finally put into her room at 5 p.m. The nurses on West 4 were just delightful and charming. Mom felt like Queen Victoria with all of the attention they lavished on her. It was paradise after the long, dull, uncomfortable hours in the E.R.

In the meantime, as more evidence of well laid plans ganging agley, as of 4 p.m., Jana was still in T.C. Her 1:30 takeoff never happened, and we still haven't heard the end of that story.

The moral of this day's story is Stay Flexible.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Descending Pool Table

Catherine's was having a post Christmas sale, so Jana and I dropped Dick off at the mall and went on a mad shopping spree for an hour and a half. Such fun!

Then we all took a drive out to the Leelanau in search of the perfect spot to place Jana's new cache. She's doing one centered on the early 20th century murder of a nun at the Holy Rosary Church in Isadore.

We were hungry, so we went to Art's Tavern first for lunch. Art's was jammed packed full of people - it was more crowded than it is in the summertime. There was a line waiting to get in. The party in front of us was a huge family group of at least 14 people. While we were standing there in the cold entrance, shivering and cramped, we were trying to figure out where they were going to put everyone.

There was a pool table in the center of the eating area, and right there, before our very eyes, a couple of employees began pulling up sections of floorboards from under the pool table and putting them on top of it. It took them quite a while, and while we were watching I was thinking "I wonder if they're somehow going to lower that pool table and put tables on top of it." And lo and behold - the pool table began to slowly move downwards until the floorboards on top were flush with the floor of the restaurant! And then they set up tables and chairs and seated the whole family group in one swell foop! It was worth the wait - just think - a pool table elevator! How many of those have you seen!?! As usual, the food was delicious and plentiful, the service was friendly and prompt, but the hit of the day was the descending pool table. I don't expect I'll ever see anything like that again.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day 2006


Some Christmases are unforgettable:

When I was a sophomore in high school I got a beautiful wool dress with a turtle neck, and a new pair of ice skates;

The Christmas that I was expecting, Mother Gen gave us an entire layette for the new baby Laurie;

When Laurie was two, she asked Santa for a book, a truck and a talking doll, and that was all she wanted.

This Christmas was the most unforgettable of all the unforgettables:

************************
This is the Christmas that our children gave us a Caribbean cruise for our 50th wedding anniversary.

And the best part is that WE'RE ALL GOING !!!

Tom, Jana, Laurie&Chip and Dylan will be there too !!

And Dick and I will be in a grand suite!
****************************

This is the whole reason that we had to have a webcam in place in time for Christmas, because the family in Florida wanted to see us open the box with all of the clues! I was in shock for at least an hour afterwards, and I was tingling all over. Dick and I were both very emotional about this gift. Getting ready to go is going to be such a treat - we are so looking forward to this trip!

We had already had a wonderful Christmas. We love the treasure hunter book, and especially the tote with the original artwork by Mr. Dylan. There were so many wonderful gifts, we were already very mellow and satisfied after opening everything. Then Jana said it was time to call Florida, and she brought up the box from downstairs and turned on the webcam. WOW!

Dick, Jana and I visited Mother for about 2 hours this afternoon. We took her some food and three small gifts. She had a chance to call Fritz and wish him a Merry Christmas, and Jim called her earlier in the day, so she touched base with everyone this holiday.

But the big news of the day is our Anniversary Cruise on April 22, 2007! Stay tuned!

Dick thinks that this picture looks too much like deer in the headlights, so

This is the Official We'll Be Cruising Soon picture!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Where Would YOU Go?

"Hopefully this holiday finds you well and that the New Year dawns with bright new promise. May prosperity and light fill your life with joy." A quote found on another blog, and it's really my wish for everybody.

Next summer the Annual National Governor's Conference will be held here in Traverse City - well actually, at the Resort.

Our friend Kathee from the Visitor Center is heavily involved in preparation for the big event, and she'll be going to D.C sometime in February with a committee to attend a prep meeting for next year's Conference. They'll be taking 50 cherry pies, one for each delegation. She knows that Jana lives in D.C., so she asked if Jana had suggestions of things that Kathee and the committee could do for breakfast and dinner. Where would I go? Definitely back to Mei-wah and Mimi's! Don't know if I'm ready for the drag queen brunch...hmm...let me think that over...
Here is Jana's reply:
Hi Kathee -- I'm Dick's daughter Jana, and he asked me to pull together some recommendations for your upcoming visit to DC. Hope you find these useful, please let me know if you have any more questions or need a tourguide on your stay!

Old Ebbitt Grill is a wonderfully atmospheric & historic restaurant with a great bar, too. It's very near your hotel -- on 15th St between F and G (your hotel is on 14th St between H and I): Old Ebbitt Grill

Two options right on H St. -- for dinner, Cosi is a chain coffee/sandwich shop with wonderful salads -- I recommend the Cobb. They also have smores at your table, but my Dad says there's a bar in TC that does that too, so maybe it's not that special: Cosi

For dinner and/or a drink -- Cafe Mozart is a german expat experience, with $2.50 draft beers Mon-Fri 4-7, and all the brats you can eat: Cafe Mozart

Other highly recommended dinner & Drink spots a quick cab ride away:

Mei-wah -- best Chinese experience in DC! Mei Wah

Mimi's -- featuring live showtunes sung by the waitstaff, and a great bar too!
Mimi's

The Brickskellar -- a wonderful grubby cellar of a beer joint featuring more than a thousand beers, and mighty fine pierogies:
The Brickskellar

DC experiences further from your hotel -- You may or may not have time for these, but they sure are fun.

Dine at the Longworth House Office Building Cafeteria!
The press corps agrees this is the best cafeteria on Capitol Hill. The House buildings are open to everyone -- you do need to go through security and show ID. In the cafeteria, it's fun to eavesdrop on movers and shakers (or just pretend they are). Then for fun you can explore, go from one building to the next via the underground tunnels, enjoy the lovely courtyard in the Rayburn building, and visit your congressman if you want to at 137 Cannon: Capitol Hill Map

Ben's Chili Bowl!
My personal favorite comfort food, and a bona-fide DC experience. It's on U St, between 12th & 13th, across the street from the U St. Cardozo metro stop.
Ben's Chili Bowl

Johnny Rockets!
This was my mom & dad's favorite, it's a 50's style hamburger chain, the one I took them to was on M St in Georgetown. There's no metro in Georgetown so you would have to hop in a cab: Johnny Rockets

Drag Queen Brunch at Perry's!
Sunday Brunch is a DC obsession that has spilled over into Saturday. The article below lists lots of options, but my personal recommendation is the drag queen brunch at Perry's, on Columbia Road near 18th St (which is the Adams Morgan strip ... as an aside, if you want the Adams Morgan experience, go to 18th between California and Columbia any night of the week, it's hoppin' with bars, international restaurants and general nightlife). During the week, Perry's is a sushi place with a rooftop deck, but on Sunday, it is the liveliest brunch in town, with live drag queen entertainment: Washington Post Brunch Review

Another lunch or brunch option is the Mansion on O St -- there are just no words to describe this, you will have to read the review below. Call to make reservations because they don't serve unless people are coming. Just being in the mansion is a jaw-dropping experience that overwhelms the senses and can inspire giggle-fits: Mansion on O St.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It Works!

Hey hey hey! The LogiTech webcam works great with Skype on the Dell. This morning we talked with Laurie, Tom and Dylan, and it was great. I don't know where Chip was, but he is home now through Christmas, thank goodness. We were afraid that he would get held up by all of the delays caused by the big storm in Denver.

Spoke to Mother this morning - she is not well at all. She even agreed to see the doctor after the holidays. This is monumental, because she always pooh-poohs going to the doctor.

We took a drive this afternoon - it's another dreary, rainy day. We went to the store to get oysters for the Christmas Eve oyster stew. Then we did the TC cruise: the bay was very gray, but calm. The shoppers were dodging raindrops on Front Street. We visited both cemeteries, and drove past some condos that Jana is considering for some date in the future.

This evening we're planning to go to Mongolian Barbecue for dinner, and then cruise town to see the Christmas lights.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Outing With Jana +Skype +LogiTech

Dick headed out early this morning to do some more work for his new cache, and to put in some time at the Agency. He also stopped in at the Visitor Center to get details of Kathee's committee trip to D.C. so that Jana can recommend some restaurants.

It rained cats and dogs all day today. Good day for movies, shopping, and visiting Mother. So Jana and I did all of that. We went to see Eragon so that we can communicate with Dylan. It's a very nice movie if you're nine years old. Jana and I were in stitches many times when scenes in the movie were so cliched and reminiscent of so many earlier adventure movies. We saw some Star Wars, some Lord of the Rings, even a little Wizard of Oz.

After the movie we stopped at Best Buy. Jana went shopping for a LogiTech camera for my upstairs computer so we can do the Skype thing with Laurie. Kind of an end-around around the iSight/Mac combo that didn't work. She also bought a beautiful gift of truffles wrapped in a golden box/bag for Mother.

Mother is very weak and feeble today, and not feeling well. We did have a good visit - we opened her Christmas cards, read them, and looked at the pictures. We watered the evergreen tree that Laurie sent, and cleaned up some of the needles. We talked to Julius and Abby. We shared memories of Dad and the good old days. I think that Mother could hear most of it.

Back at home Dick cooked burgers on the grill and we had a great supper. Now Jana and I are watching the rest of Spanglish and Dick is on the phone with Doug.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pick Up Something +Skype +iSight

Nice workout today at physical therapy. Kari started me on the elliptical trainer, and it's a real challenge. She's very patient with me, and she's a really effective therapist.

Went to new Oleson's to pick up something for dinner - it feels so good to be doing things by myself now.

I told Dick I was going to do that, and a lightbulb went off in his head. He said he thinks he'll call his new cache Pick Up Something For Dinner. He's "borrowing" the idea from the Bellaire cache that starts in a grocery store. He enjoyed that cache so much that he wants one of his own. He and Jana are out right now setting it up.

Later the same day...

Jana and I were watching Spanglish (really fun movie) when Laurie calls attempting to set up Skype with her video camera. The bottom line is that we now have Skype on our laptop, and she has it on her new computer. We could hear each other just fine. Jana and I could see Laurie, but we couldn't connect the iSight to the Skype for some reason. I'm thinking it was just too late for me and my brain was in neutral.

I need to find out how to use iSight with Skype on my iBook G4. Anybody? Anybody??....

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

JayBird Flies In

Feeling better. Went to therapy and things went well - glad I didn't cancel.

Jana's plane was right on time - just before 9 p.m. She's glad to be here (of course!) but she's disappointed that we have no snow. Right now it looks like we'll have a green Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Speaking of G-I Issues....

Oh wow - I'm so sick. Picked up a totally unfriendly bug somewhere. Was up all night - most unpleasant. Feeling very much like a dishrag today.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Family Brunch

Today is party day!

First there was a terrific family brunch at South City Limits - Barb and Sharon and all of Barb's kids. Who was there? Dick&Nan, Sharon, Shelly, Chris, Adam&Melanie and Lydia, Barb&Jim, Peter&Melissa and Autumn and Brooke. We had a couple of hours of a really great time. They gave us a gorgeous centerpiece - it's so festive and Christmasy - it looks great on the dining room table.

The Concord Place Christmas party came next. Unfortunately, Mother was not feeling well enough to go down to Party Central. so Dick made a few trips dowstairs to fix her a plate, get her some coffee, etc. She hasn't been feeling well for several weeks now - it seems to be a gastro-intestinal issue of some sort.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Whew!

Land therapy is better than aqua therapy. Why? Because when you're finished you're not dripping wet walking through a fitness center to a cold locker room, and taking 20 minutes to dry off, shiver and change. The machines are fun, the routines are not too difficult, and I think I'll really enjoy the next 3 weeks of therapy. This morning was only the second session, so I don't really notice much difference yet, but I have high hopes.

This afternoon was our adventurous trek, taking Mom to the dentist for an extraction. We were both more stressed out about this than we realized. Things went quite smoothly - the new wheelchair performed well. We rented a Chrysler 300, because it seemed like the best vehicle for moving the most easily from wheelchair to seat....our Subaru is too small and the Explorer is too big! The Chrysler was a great choice.

Dr. Whiting did a marvelous job of keeping everybody calm and happy. After it was all over, Mother didn't even realize that the tooth was already out. She's such a trooper - I know it was a stressful event for her. She kept saying "That wasn't so bad". We're all very relieved that it's over.

Monday, December 11, 2006

CacheApalooza




While we were at the Merry Bowling meet and greet, 1255 miles away, in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida, Laurie, Chip and Dylan were at the camping weekend called CacheApalooza. I looks to me like they had a great time.

Dylan is in the blue T shirt - he's the tallest one. Two of the others are Lainie and Ty, and the third is mystery boy. Dylan is the cutest.

Here is Laurie's log:
Thanks to everyone who made this well organized event possible. We enjoyed every minute. Our group of kids had a fantastic time finding their own treasure cache, and I jumped for joy when my number was called for the Garmin GPS. Thanks!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Merry Bowling



Bowling? We don't do bowling! But we had a great time at the NMG meet and greet in South Boardman today. It was much fun to see everybody and enjoy some great conversations. It was great seing Tim and Susie - it's been a while since we've seen them. Tim won the trophy for the highest bowling score. Very impressive.

There was a Secret Santa gift exchange and a raffle. We got lots of goodies, the absolute best being a whole raft of chocolate chip cookies. Frank and Peggy agreed to stop by next Wednesday for cookies and coffee.

Here is Dick's log of the event:
Thanks Beth for getting us together, it was nice to see the Jedi and the Princess. Thanks Ray and Lydia for the raffles, and everyone who brought a gift or donated to the prize tables, we had a great time. Believe it or not, we bowled almost as well as we did when we were in our teens. It was great to see everyone and watch the experts in action, Katelyn is definitely a champ. We apologize to anyone we didn't get a chance to talk and wish a Merry Christmas to. We certainly enjoyed the conversations that we had. We spent the ride home sharing the stories we gathered from everyone. If anyone wants to drop in for milk and cookies, we're ready.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Mom Has Wheels/ Here Comes Christmas



This was the day we put up Christmas. The tree looks very nice! The house is as decorated as it will be. It's fun to go through the Christmas things, make decisions, and cherish the memories they elicit. Dick put lights on a tree outside the living room so we can enjoy it every evening. That tree is really beautiful. It's a good feeling to have everything finished.

We went to visit Mom today - we took her some boots, pictures of Jace's visit, and some photo Christmas cards that she can send to family. But the big item was her new wheelchair.

To assist in the transfer next Thursday, Dr. Auer, her primary care physician, wrote a prescription for a wheelchair and she will be reimbursed by Medicare and Blue Cross. Mom is very happy to have her own wheelchair, and she wants it stored in her room so no one will take it ! It's a transfer chair - it has small wheels, not the big wheels that the patient turns by hand. Her hands would not be able to turn those wheels anyway. She will always need someone to push it for her.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Springing the Buccal Plate

When I was in college one of my summer jobs was working as a dental assistant in a Kiwanis Club free dental clinic. I had no training at all, so the dentist explained everything in the office very specifically and efficiently, and even quizzed me during the down times. That's how I know that when Mother goes to have her tooth pulled, her dentist will be springing the buccal plate. Buccal means the cheek side of the tooth, and the plate is the jaw.

Mother has an appointment on Dec. 14th for her to go to the dentist and have the bad tooth extracted. She wants it out, but she is naturally nervous about leaving the building, and also about having her tooth pulled. She is expecting "agony". We have tried to comfort her, and explain that she will be numbed up, etc. We've made sure that she has her good winter coat, boots, gloves and hat in case of bad weather. Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown?

Snow, snow and more snow. We now have snow tires on both vehicles, and it's a lot more comfortable driving around. We went to UPS today and shipped the Christmas packages to Florida. Now we're ready to put up the tree, decorate the house, and write the Christmas cards.

Mother's dentist made a home visit this evening after supper to evaluate her teeth. She needs to have a tooth extracted and some other work done. He called in a prescription for an antibiotic for her to take to help avoid infection from the procedure. We have an appointment next Thursday, Dec. 14th at 2 p.m. I think it's remarkable that a dentist would go out of his way like that for an elderly patient. His Grandma is in Birchwood, so he is very understanding and willing to help. He has another star in his crown. Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown by Seldom Scene

This week Dylan's toughest spelling word is reservation. Others are suggestion and conclusion. He has reservations about taking this test. My suggestion is that he'll be glad to see the conclusion of the test!

Michael Moore & Max in T.C.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

An Old Favorite

I've been experimenting with audio and video on the blog. Rhapsody.com seems to work the best so far for audio, and YouTube for video.


City Of New Orleans by Seldom Scene

Monday, December 04, 2006

One More Day

There will be only one more day of aqua therapy. After Friday, I will graduate to "land therapy". Tom says I'll be a land shark - remember that on SNL?

Here is the lovely Premier Fitness Center, home of my therapy pool. (Oh by the way, we got quite a bit of new snow today and the roads were horrible.)


Here is our beloved pool. You were expecting maybe Olympic size?


This is Kari, my intrepid therapist. She knows everything about muscles and stretching and strengthening, and she's chock full of good tips for me.


Kari and Lisa, another therapist - they are all very pleasant.

Here's photographic evidence that I do actually have a swim suit, and I really do get into the pool, so there. The shirt comes off when I get into the pool, but for pictures, not so much.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Family Day @ Concord Place

One day after the big snow storm, it was a beautiful, sunny day with a bright blue sky. Jim drove up from Saginaw to visit Mother, and he brought along Dan, Pam and 18 month old Jace! What a treat it was to see them all!



Here's Mother holding Jace (quote "He's Heavy!) with Dan ready to grab him at any second.



While we were all there, Rick and Mary came in with Uncle Fritz and Aunt Ruth. Fritz and Ruth have moved to assisted living and aren't on the road any more, so when Rick and Mary come to town they always bring them to visit Mother. Fritz is Mother's only brother, and he's now 90.



A fun family "crowd shot" - Pam with Jace, Dan, Dick and Jim. Jace will be a big brother before he's two years old. The new baby is due in April, and Jace will be two on May 1.



Rick, Dan and Fritz:


Cousins Rick and Mary with Mother - thanks Rick, for bringing Fritz and Ruth to our impromptu Christmas gathering!


Dan's family meets Great-Grandma - Mother was very happy to meet Pam and Jace.


Thank you Jim, for bringing everybody to Traverse City! It's hard to believe that we had 11 people at once in Mom's room, but it worked out great, and we all loved it!


This little tree was a centerpiece at yesterday's Visitor Center party. I thought it would be perfect for Mother's room, and I think it looks wonderful and festive. Thanks, Kathee for letting us take it. So now the Christmas season is off and running - hang on to your hats!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ushering in the Holiday Season

The T.C. Convention Bureau and Visitor Center volunteers Christmas Party was this afternoon. It was very festive, with great food, lots of Christmas tree decorations, and good company. To help usher in the season, we had a foot of snow during the afternoon. The party was held at the Maritime Academy, so we were right on the bay. It was interesting to watch the waves smash over the pier - the wind was strong and right out of the northwest. We sat with Jean and John, John and Penny, Val, and Jack. Dick liked the shrimp best; I liked the meatballs and the cheesecake! The coffee was fantastic. There was an open bar, but with the weather the way it was we didn't indulge. I think Dick had one glass of wine. It's always the most enjoyable party of December.

Traffic was awful on the way home, and the roads were treacherous. It took us about 45 minutes to get home, usually a 20 minute drive. The snow drifted up over our porch steps. It was good to be home by the fire.

Jim called this evening. He plans to come up to T.C. tomorrow to visit Mother. I think this will be the official Christmas visit. We're hoping that the main roads will be plowed and sanded by tomorrow.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Julius is 103 !!

Dr. Kevin put in my permanent crown today, and it went very smoothly. Dick went with me, and afterwards, we went out to lunch at Bubba's, and then for a short drive (cache maintenance). He dropped me off at Horizon and went to get a haircut. It's so nice to be out and about - it's like I was never away :)

This article was in today's Record Eagle. It's so nice that Julius can get out of his room occasionally. I hope he had a wonderful birthday. Julius lives across the hall from Mother at Concord Place. He helps her sort her daily newspaper and throws away all of the ads, etc. He has trouble with dry eyes, and he's very hard of hearing, but he's hanging in there. It's hard to believe that anybody is 5 years older than Mother!

Julius Petertyl shares life stories for his birthday

Julius Petertyl remembers when Traverse City had all the bells and whistles.

And he's telling people about them as he turns 103.

"There were churches ringing bells and factories with steam power whistling for starting time,” said Petertyl, who was born in Traverse City on Nov. 30, 1903, the year of the Wright brothers' first flight.

"There were school bells and fire drills and you could go on and on and on,” he said.

He shared his stories of a century-plus of local history with a reporter and later to about 100 people at a party hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Traverse City Monday. Sitting in his wheelchair at the front of the room, he spoke of memories both personal and of the city, including sawdust in the streets to soak up the mud, workers earning 16 cents per hour and a world champion Holstein cow at the Traverse City State Hospital barn.

"When the cow expired, they had a funeral service for the cow,” said Petertyl, who now lives in an assisted living home.

He teared up and had to stop when he spoke of meeting his late wife Dorothy on the golf course and the happy years that followed.

"I love my wife,” he said. "I talk to her every day.”

He recalled the fire whistle that would blow like a siren, which he imitated, and then a code to signify which sector the fire was in.

"When we were kids and heard that at night, it was scary,” he said.

The full-time firemen would take a horse-drawn wagon, pails and a ladder to the fire. Volunteers would leave their homes or jobs and run or ride a bicycle to the fire to help out.

"There were dry, cedar shingles on the roofs, so a spark on the roof starts a fire,” he said.

Petertyl's grandfather Victor Petertyl had come to Traverse City from Prague, Czechoslovakia, in the 1800s. He was a furniture- and cabinet-maker who sold his work at a shop on Front Street.

His father Albert owned the A.T. Petertyl Meat Market in the 500 block of South Union Street when Julius was born. That was before cars were mass-produced, so a horse-and-carriage was the most likely way to get around town. People took a train to go to Grand Rapids or Chicago.

"There were five or six horseshoeing shops in town,” he said.

Two of the town's wagon-, carriage- and sleigh-making shops were owned by Petertyls, cousins of Julius' father. The last name is best known locally because of Petertyl Drug & Gift Center on Front Street, which his brother started; it is no longer in the family.

When Julius was young, his family was one of the few in town who had a telephone, because his father owned a business. To place a call, they had to turn a crank, then tell the operator who they were calling.

In his spare time, he enjoyed making some of his own toys out of wood.

"We'd get wheels from the shops in town that repaired baby buggies and make a cart,” he said.

He also liked to fish the Boardman River off the Union Street bridge.

"You didn't need any fancy equipment,” he said, adding that he and his friends would cut a branch from a tree and tie a line and a hook to it.

The first car he owned, at about age 25, was a used 1919 Ford Roadster.

"It was not enclosed,” he said. That meant the driver and passengers were exposed to the elements.

Petertyl also remembers when snow on the sidewalks was plowed by horses and the city streets were not plowed at all.

"The milkman went through with his milk sleigh and made the first tracks,” he said. "We used to get some big snowstorms.”

In the 1970s, Petertyl helped document the histories of 460 homes and buildings in Traverse City's Central Neighborhood to help get it on the National Register of Historic Places.

"He was instrumental in pulling the Central Neighborhood together with a historic bent and getting it on the National Register,” said Carol Hale, who worked with him on the project.

He attended what is now Central Grade School on Seventh Street and later supervised bricklayers building the barn at Traverse City State Hospital in the 1930s and at Munson Medical Center in the 1950s.

He retired 43 years ago from Consumers Power.

Of course, one of the questioners at the party wanted to know how Petertyl has remained healthy and happy for 103 years.

"I just keep breathing,” he said, which was met with laughter and a standing ovation.

Copyright 1998-2005 Traverse City Record-Eagle

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bumper Stickers


Seen around town:


Who Would Jesus Torture?

and

I was Born OK the First Time

and

Honk If You're Against Noise Pollution

Have you seen other good ones?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Turkey Trot Event

Here's some real geocaching teamwork!
Basswood Bend and cohorts solving problems of the geocaching universe.
One of the cute critters along the way on the Critter Hunt. It was fun!


The event was on Portage Lake in Onekema. There were around 50 people in attendance, both old acquaintances and new folks. One couple came all the way from Wisconsin, and Craig's family came from the Soo. We enjoyed it, and we had so much fun doing the "Critter Hunt", and found 7 caches along the way. We didn't stay for the whole thing, but we did a good bit of it.

Here is Dick's log:

We had a great time. The breakfast was super, the facilities superb and the company was fantastic. It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as so many new ones.
Thanks to Jamie and Barb for hosting and prep. Thanks for the Petersons as well. Thanks also to Gary and Donna for the slide show.
A special thanks Sandrich for the activity. This was our first lengthy caching outing since mid July and to have an activity that allowed full participation, even when a little "gimpy" was much appreciated. We even picked off a few caches that showed up along the route. Sorry that we didn't make it back for dinner and prizes but our energy levels declined and we didn't think it would be a good idea to push it. We'll see every one at the Winter Social.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble, Gobble

Parades, Football, Turkey, Mother, and Pumpkin Pie.

That's what America is all about.

Well, today anyway.

We did it all, and in that order, too.

Mother was felling "some better". but she doesn't look so good, and she was making some mistakes in choosing her words. She calls Bortz "Knox" for some inexplicable reason. She has trouble remembering the names of those around her. She often refers to Julius as "Luther". She has been on an antibiotic for the past week - the last day will be tomorrow. Maybe that medication contributes to the problem. We're getting the feeling that she may need some major dental work and we're trying to figure out how to best accomplish that without making her too uncomfortable. She really doesn't like to move out of her room. 'Tis a problem.

She ate shrimp, and some homemade dressing and gravy, and a couple of olives. It was good, because she hasn't been eating well for a week - mostly just soups.

Spoke to Jana last night - she's feeling much better. Spoke to Laurie and Dylan today - he eats his pumpkin pie with ice cream instead of whipped cream. It's his favorite part of Thanksgiving. Tom had spoken to Laurie and he plans to spend Thanksgiving with Kevin and Amy's family. They have really welcomed him into their family circle. It's a Good Thing.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Prep

Pool Day at Premier Fitness. Kari is on vacation, so I worked with Sandy. I like Sandy a lot, but....it was a tough workout for me. Went to New Oleson's afterwards to get last minute items for Thanksgiving dinner. Rested for about 2 hours and then wrestled with the turkey, cooked the giblets, and pulled bread for the stuffing. Dick always chops the cooked giblets and the onions, thank goodness.

Dick winterized the boat in the driveway - always an exciting event! He lowers the motor into a bin, fills the bin with water, and runs all of the gas out of the motor. It was fun - lots of splashing and smokiness. The whole place has been winterized now - all of our outside furniture is under cover, the covers are on everything, the yard has been de-leafed and it looks great. In the words of our illustrious President, Bring it on.

************

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Baby Tommy was almost one month old, Laurie was 2 years and 9 months old. Mom and Dad were coming for the weekend because it was the weekend of the Michigan-Ohio State game. Kennedy was shot around 1 p.m. on Friday, and the football game was cancelled. We spent the weekend watching events unfold on TV - it was very bizarre and upsetting.

**************

That Day in Dallas

By TOM WICKER

Forty years after the death of John F. Kennedy, the world is obviously a different place. Since Nov. 22, 1963, numerous developments — most recently, those of Sept. 11, 2001 — have shaken the nation and the world until both would have been all but unrecognizable from the perspective of the Kennedy years.
The young president's more extreme admirers lamented in 1963 that even the greatness of the nation, the future that had seemed so glowing, might suffer decline with the loss of the Kennedy touch. Some political analysts calculated that the Democratic party would not for years recover from the loss of so attractive a leader. Many were deeply affected personally. "We may laugh again," said Daniel P. Moynihan, then an assistant secretary of labor, "but we'll never be young again."

In the shock of the assassination — the first of a president since Leon Czolgosz had shot William McKinley more than a half century earlier — no one could be sure how the cold war would be affected by a new man at the head of American policy. What about Kennedy's civil rights bill, deadlocked and stymied in Congress? Could his space program, including the promise to put a man on the moon, be continued? Might the war in Vietnam be won — or should it be abandoned?

Four decades after the shooting in Dallas, it's surprising how little the assassination — at the time a veritable thunderclap among events — affected these specific questions, much less the inexorable tide of history. Kennedy's absence from the government and the political scene, of course, immediately changed the presidential succession — but politics already was changing, not necessarily for the better, and would have changed even if Kennedy had lived.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sweet Tuesday

I am out and about more, mostly walking without the cane, and it does feel great! I'm still a little unsteady, but it's not that bad. The pills that Dr. Burke gave me for gout relieved the pain already, and I'm really grateful. The gout was on my good side, so it was hard to know which way to limp!

We'll be having a very quiet Thanksgiving - just the two of us. We'll do the traditional dinner on Thursday, and spend time with Mother. She hasn't been feeling well this week, so we're kind of playing that by ear. We have a geocaching event on Saturday over in Portage that we're planning to attend, assuming that all is well with Mother.

Jana is still not back at work - she has been really sick. She had pelvic inflammatory disease associated with her infected cyst and it laid her low. Now she's battling the mother of all colds - it hit her when her immune system was down. She sounded much better when I talked to her yesterday. We're expecting her home for Christmas if all goes well. The others will all be in Florida for Christmas.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Game Day




Well OSU is still number one. It will be interesting to see where Michigan winds up in the rankings. They came close, but no cigar. This from mgoblue.com:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The University of Michigan football team was unable to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit and could not pull closer than three points from the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday (Nov. 18) at Ohio Stadium, losing 42-39 before a sellout and stadium-record crowd of 105,708 fans at the Horseshoe. The Wolverines (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten) gained 397 yards of total offense while yielding a season-high 507 yards to the Buckeyes (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten.

Michigan has had a marvelously entertaining season, and we've enjoyed it every step of the way. Well done, Wolverines.

Friday, November 17, 2006

BO



Bo died today. Hail to the Victor Valiant. "'Michigan-Ohio State tomorrow, [Dan] Dierdorf correctly said Friday, "will just be the football game that was played the day after Bo died.'"

*******
MITCH ALBOM:

DETROIT - The biggest game doesn't seem so big anymore, because the biggest man in the history of Michigan football won't be watching it.

Bo Schembechler is dead. I never wanted to write that sentence. They've asked me to construct his obituary and I don't want the job, because I don't want to fashion a world that doesn't have Bo in it. He used to joke with me that he was an accident, because he was born in 1929, the year of the Great Depression, and "anyone who wants a baby in 1929 is crazy."

But he wasn't an accident. If ever a man seemed destined to be in a certain place at a certain time, it was Bo Schembechler prowling the sidelines of a Michigan football game on Saturday afternoons. He seems permanently painted into that picture - and while the players are bigger and stronger, he is always the largest thing in the frame. Bo could cast a shadow in rainstorm. His voice could be heard on the moon. It is being heard today, in the heads and hearts of the thousands of men who are balding, overweight, nursing sore backs and knees, but who still can hear their old coach's shrill but powerful urgings, telling them to block harder, to tackle harder, to do things "the Michigan way" and good things will happen.

"We are heartbroken," said Dan Dierdorf, one of the more famous of those former players, talking Friday night on a cell phone in a parking lot a short distance from Bo's home, where he was going to do something he never wanted to do: pay a condolence call.

Dierdorf, like anyone who ever played for Bo, knows the old man's voice will never be silenced. And yet the man himself is gone, done in by the very organ that truly defined him: his heart.

It was tragic and sudden and awful and shocking and it was exactly the way we knew it would happen. Bo told me once, "I will die one day from a bad heart."

As usual, the old man was right. We should have seen it coming. Thirty-seven years ago, he was walking up a hill in Pasadena, Calif., alone, in the dark, and he felt a stabbing pain and he grabbed a tree to hold himself up. He was only 40 then, but that incident - the night before his first Rose Bowl - was his first heart attack. Friday's incident, when he was 77 - the day before the biggest Michigan-Ohio State game ever - was his last.

In between there were too many surgeries, procedures, EKGs, a pacemaker, too many scary rushes to the hospital with everyone thinking, "Is this it?" But Bo came back from them all. Sooner or later, there he was, Michigan's Lazarus, in a natty sports coat with a maize-and-blue tie, and he'd be barking his same old bark and telling people he was a medical miracle, and, well, after a while, you just figured he could straight-arm anything, even mortality.

But if death doesn't get you at the shoulders it will get you at the knees, if not by the front, then from behind. And so, during a taping Friday morning of his weekly television show on Channel 7, doing the thing he liked second-best, talking about football - coaching it would always be No. 1 - death tried blindsiding Bo once more.

And this time, the only time, it took him down.

Checking out Michigan

I likely will fail at this assignment, because I cannot focus on what posterity should know about this man. You start with facts about Bo Schembechler but you quickly drift to anecdotes. It can't be helped. Bo made memories even better than he made history.

I can tell you he was born in the small town of Barberton, Ohio, the son of a fireman, and that long after he'd left he still could name you every factory in that town. I can tell you that he had two older sisters who teased him constantly and a mother he adored and who could match him stubborn for stubborn. I can tell you that his father once had a chance to get a cheater's advance copy of a civil service exam but he refused, and he finished one point behind a guy who cheated, and he didn't get the job he wanted. Bo said that night taught him more about integrity than anything ever would.

I can tell you Bo, growing up, was an excellent athlete. I can tell you that the first time he set eyes on a Michigan football field was as a senior in high school, on his way home from a family vacation. They drove through Ann Arbor and the Wolverines, by luck, were practicing. Bo and his father approached to take a peek. Not wanting to be noticed, they watched from near a field that was then open space.

Today there is a building on that field.

It's called Schembechler Hall.

You realize, by that geography, that while Bo played for Miami of Ohio and coached several other places (including Ohio State) he was, and will always be, all over Michigan football. Everything you see now has ties to him. The head coach, Lloyd Carr, worked under Bo, and the coach before Carr, Gary Moeller, worked under Bo. The radio announcer, Jim Brandstatter, played under Bo, and as he gets older he sounds more and more like Bo.

Brandstatter was one of those guys from Bo's first U-M team, the 1969 team that put him on the map - guys like Dierdorf, Jim Mandich, Garvie Craw, Don Moorhead, Billy Taylor - his first team, his most beloved team, the one that shocked the nation in upsetting Woody Hayes' Buckeyes, then ranked No. 1.

It has been 37 years since that game, and yet those players still can tell you every moment of it, every play, every exuberant shout, how in the locker room at halftime, they knew they were living through an historic moment. Bo was their drill sergeant, their tormentor, their teacher and their father figure. He has been the glue that has held them together all these years, the catalyst for their conversations - Hey, remember when the old man whacked that yardstick through Brandstatter's legs?" - and they always spoke about him with love, laughs and reverence.

Today they will be speaking through tears. Many will no doubt see each other again the way too many of us see our old friends again: at a funeral. And they will likely be saying what the voice in my head, maybe your head, too, is saying now: Bo cannot be dead. I refuse to believe it.

He was there for too many of them. He came to their golf tournaments, he stood up in their weddings, he spoke to their sons, he visited them in hospitals. Once, he even walked a former player who ran afoul of the law virtually to the prison door, urging him to stay strong and remember who he was. If you played for Bo, you were granted permission to a special club; you were always one of his boys. Bo had a sign above the locker room door his first grueling season at Michigan: "Those who stay will be champions."

He could have written underneath it, ". . . and will always be welcome here."

A visit with The King

What else can I write? Did you know Bo met Elvis once? It's true. He was in Las Vegas and somehow, after the show, he ended up backstage with The King. Bo didn't really know what to say, so he paid the singer a compliment on his jumpsuits and next thing he knew, he was back in a private closet with Elvis showing him his collection of rhinestone-covered costumes. He told Bo how much they cost, and that he never wore them more than once and then they were shipped to some museum. There was, Bo recalled, an awkward a pause, just the two of them, alone with those jumpsuits, and then they came back and joined the crowd.

Years later, I asked Bo what he thought of that encounter.

"I thought, `I don't want to be him,' " Bo said.

He wasn't. Bo was the King around here, but not in private counsel with secret dressing rooms. He was out among the people, everywhere, at banquets, at charity functions, slapping backs, punching arms, bounding through the press box. Bo genuinely liked people, interesting people - in later years he even mellowed with sportswriters - and he could just as easily strike up a conversation with a janitor as he could with a president of the United States. And he did. Bo knew Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bo Derek and the guy next door. He embodied that Rudyard Kipling poem that celebrates a man who "can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch."

He as a great storyteller, you hung on his words, and he was one of the funniest men you would ever meet. He loved to laugh at himself, and he used his hands to communicate, pounding on tabletops, poking fingers in chests - I once sat next to him at a basketball game and my arm was black and blue from all the times he slapped me when he got worked up. He used phrases like "dad gum" and "by god" and "now you listen to me ..." It is the mark of his combustive personality that he is remembered today by a sentence he bellowed at a news conference: "A Michigan man will coach Michigan."

You had no doubt that a Michigan Man was saying it.

Battling with Woody

He won more football games than any coach in his school's history and his teams won or shared the Big Ten title 13 times in his 21 seasons. He held a small edge in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry - 11-9-1 - and a one-game edge over Woody Hayes in their 10-year war - 5-4-1. His relationship with that irascible coach was as deep and as complex as any in sports. Bo played for Woody, he worked for Woody, and he was ultimately burdened with trying to defeat Woody. It was the son battling the father. The student battling the teacher. Yet for all their fierce battles, their traded tantrums, the most emotional moment came years later, in 1987, when Hayes was long retired.

There was banquet for Bo in Dayton, Ohio. Hayes, despite failing health, insisted on coming to introduce Bo. He was using a wheelchair at this point, but he spoke for 15 or 20 minutes, fond memories, compliments, the kind of thing a friend does for a friend.

The next night he died.

And just as Bo was forever shaped by Woody, so have all the coaches and players who labored for Bo been shaped by him. They have spread out over the land, become pro athletes, lawyers, doctors, some have taken head coaching jobs and come back to play Michigan. But they remain a unique fraternity, ribbons around the maypole of Bo Schembechler.

Bo was passionate about what he did. "Some of the finest people I know are football coaches," he once told me. "They're smart. They're tough. Good thinkers. Hard workers. When I say I'm a football coach, I'm damn proud of the fact that I'm a football coach."

His later careers - athletic director, Tigers team president, TV analyst - were all well and good, he made some nice contributions, but you always knew they were things that he did because he couldn't do what he really loved to do anymore. He told me several times had he had it to do over again, he would not have retired when he did in 1989.

Then again, Bo never really retired. He kept an office at Michigan, close enough to chit chat with any coach or player if he wanted. He served as the elder statesman, the grandfather at the table, Don Corleone sitting in a side chair after he'd turned the business over to his son Michael.

"A guy from Michigan State once told me Bo's still coaching there," Dierdorf recalled. "They just use a different name `Bo-Mo-Carr.' "

There is some truth in that. Bo is the cloak from which the cloth is spun. And it is impossible to imagine what today in Columbus, Ohio, will be like for Carr, who has to guide his young players through one of the biggest games in Big Ten history, while everywhere he looks he hears and sees his old boss and friend.

"Michigan-Ohio State tomorrow," Dierdorf correctly said Friday, "will just be the football game that was played the day after Bo died."

Living a good life

I can tell you he loved his wives. Millie was his partner on the way up, gave him a home, a family, three adopted sons and one more they conceived together. After she died, Bo might never have married again, had he not found Kathy, a perfect partner for his later years, a loving, supportive woman whose strong will probably kept Bo alive years longer than he would have done on his own.

He is survived by Kathy and his sons, the ones who share his name and the thousands more who do not, the ones who wore Michigan helmets and have no blood ties, unless you count bleeding maize and blue a family trait. They all remember him, and if you live on through memories, then Bo is far from dead, he will not be dead for generations.

Maybe I can best end this rambling remembrance with a personal account. Bo and I spent more than a year together writing his autobiography. During that time, by his admission, I spent more time with him "than my wife!" (He usually added a few expletives after that.)

It was a whale of a time. We talked, we argued, we reminisced, we argued, we talked and talked some more. We took planes and cars, we sat in offices and in locker rooms. We ate. He loved to eat. One time, en route to a banquet at the Naval Academy in Maryland, he spotted a Fuddruckers hamburger joint. He loved those places and he gave a forlorn look. I told him he couldn't eat a hamburger because he had a big steak banquet coming up.

But I, on the other hand, was going.

"You dawg!" he exclaimed.

And of course he went with me. And he ate a hamburger - no pun intended - with more relish than I have ever seen a man eat one, he was like a kid getting away with playing hookey. He told me that was the "most outstanding idea" that I had ever had.

Why can I still remember that moment almost 20 years later? Because Bo filled the most normal moments with a sky's worth of wonderful, boisterous air.

Today they are saying "it was his time." But I disagree. Friday morning in a hospital was not his time. His time was Saturday afternoons from September to November, his time was on the field, making memories, his time was chomping on a hamburger, his time was looking up from his desk and seeing an old player pop his head in, accomplished, proud, a man.

His time was the time he lived, not the moment he died. When we finished our book together, the publisher asked if there were any dedications or thank-you's we wanted to insert. I listed dozens of Bo's relatives, friends and former players. Bo only wanted to put in one sentence. He wrote, "I want to personally thank Mitch Albom. The poor son of a bitch had no idea what he was getting into."

He was right, but not because it was worse than I thought, because it was better. A million times better. My days with Bo, like so many others days with Bo, were a carpet ride with a sultan, a balcony address to a cheering crowd, a sidecar on a speeding bike through glorious, chilly football afternoons.

There was a time around here when they chanted, "Bo is God! Bo is God!" He wasn't of course, but now that he's gone, everywhere you turn you hear their names in the same sentence. He will be missed. God, how Bo will be missed

*********

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The game of the year in college football has yet another storyline — a sad one. The first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup between Ohio State and Michigan comes a day after the Wolverines lost their most celebrated leader, Bo Schembechler. The longtime coach, who played a starring role for two decades in the century-old grudge match, died Friday at age 77.

An Ohioan who became a Michigan icon, Schembechler cut across this rivalry and helped make it the biggest — and at times bitterest — feud in football. Now even his death will be forever linked with The Game.

"He will always be both a Buckeye and a Wolverine, and our thoughts are with all who grieve his loss," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.

Now, the second-ranked Wolverines enter Saturday's showdown, with the Big Ten title, a spot (or two) in the national championship game and perhaps the Heisman Trophy at stake, with heavy hearts.

"We have lost a giant at Michigan and in college football," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said in a statement released by the school.

Carr, a Schembechler protege, declined to speak with the media when he arrived with his team at Ohio Stadium on Friday. The Wolverines (11-0, 7-0) went through a quiet 25-minute walkthrough, putting the finishing touches on their preparation for the top-ranked Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0).

Schembechler brought Carr to Michigan as an assistant in 1980, and Carr was promoted to head coach in 1995. But Schembechler was never far from the program or Carr. Carr's office is in Schembechler Hall, right down the hall from his former boss.

In fact, Carr asked Schembechler to speak to the Wolverines on Thursday.

Schembechler's Wolverines were 11-9-1 against Ohio State, 5-4-1 while Woody Hayes, Schembechler's mentor at Miami of Ohio turned Big Ten rival, patrolled the Buckeyes' sideline from 1969-78.

Carr, who won the national title in 1997 that always eluded Schembechler, hasn't fared so well against Ohio State lately. Carr's Wolverines have lost four of five to the Buckeyes since Tressel took over in Columbus.

Carr has drawn the ire of impatient Michigan fans for being on the short end too often against the hated Buckeyes. Winning one for Bo on Saturday — especially one this big — would no doubt appease many critics.

It's hardly fair considering these Buckeyes might be the most talented Tressel has coached, including the squad that won the 2002 national championship.

Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith directs one of the most explosive offenses in the country, and he's been at his best against Michigan the last two seasons.

"My success is credited to everybody else around me," Smith said. "It's not just that I'm 2-0 against Michigan. Everybody who has played on the field against them is 2-0."

True, but no one is more responsible for that 2-0 against the Maize and Blue than the multitalented Smith.

He passed for 241 yards, ran for a career-high 145 and accounted for three TDs in Ohio State's 37-21 upset of Michigan in Columbus two years ago. Last season, Smith threw for 300 yards, ran for a touchdown and led two long, late scoring drives to beat Michigan 25-21.

If Smith has another magical day against Michigan, the senior can all but wrap up the Heisman Trophy race. Smith has thrown 26 touchdown passes and only four interceptions while completing 66 percent of his throws.

"First of all, he's a great leader for their offense," said Michigan linebacker David Harris, the leading tackler on a unit ranked No. 1 in the country against the run. "He has a great arm. He has good mobility in the pocket. He's their guy."

He's not their only guy. Speedster Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez make up one of the country's best receiving duos. Antonio Pittman has run for 1,032 yards and 12 TDs.

"You can't really just focus on one guy," said Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley, who leads the team with 11 sacks. "It's an all-around team. They have other weapons in there."

Woodley is the catalyst for a tenacious defense that has 41 sacks and is allowing 29.9 yards per game on the ground.

"It's safe to say he's probably the best defensive end in college football," said Ohio State offensive lineman T.J. Downing, whose father, Walter, was a captain on Schembechler's 1977 team. "So we're just going to have to get after him. We're going to have to hit him in the mouth every play and just go from there."

What Next?

If it ain't one thing, it's another. Sciatica, leg weakness, pre-cancerous thingy on forehead (actinic keratosis), dentist says I need a new crown starting next week, today I was told I have gout in my big toe. (Did you know that doctors call it the great toe?) And through all of this the aqua therapy people think I'm some kind of a deadbeat because I've had to cancel appointments that conflict with the dentist, etc. Anyway, I got some kind of a strong anti-inflammatory prescription which is suppposed to eliminate the gout by Monday. Sounds too good to be true, and you know what that means!

These are all minor afflictions and I'm really not complaining because in the infinite scheme of things I'm really very lucky in every way. Today we got the news that one of the Northern Michigan Geocachers (Crafter Cat) has died from complications of a stroke. We were merely acquaintances of hers - did not know her well at all, but as John Donne wrote, "any man's (woman's) death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind..." I feel especially sorry for her husband and son.

Here's a list of foods to avoid and foods that are OK to use if you have gout - a lot of it is counter-intuitive, recommending white bread and white rice, for instance. I'm including this list just for my reference - ungouty people can stop reading here!

The following foods have very high purine levels, and should be avoided completely:

Anchovies
Bouillon
Brains
Broth
Consommé
Dried legumes
Goose
Gravy
Heart
Herring
Kidneys
Liver
Mackerel
Meat extracts
Mincement
Mussels
Partridge
Roe
Sardines
Scallops
Shrimp
Sweetbreads
Yeast (baker’s and brewer’s)
Yeast extracts (e.g., Marmite, Vegemite)

These foods have high purine levels:

Fish
Shellfish
Poultry
Meat (except those with very high purine content, noted above, or those with moderately high purine levels, noted below)

These foods have moderately high purine levels:

Asparagus
Cauliflower
Legumes
Lentils
Mushrooms
Oatmeal
Peas (dried)
Soy
Spinach
Tripe

Best bets:

Beverages (carbonated)
Butter
Cereals and cereal products
Cheese (all kinds)
Cocoa (however, caffeine is prohibited in Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome)
Corn
Cornbread
Eggs
Fruit juices
Fruits
Gelatin
Ice cream
Milk
Noodles
Nuts
Refined wheat flour
Tapioca
Vegetables (except those noted above)
White bread and crackers (but not whole wheat, which is moderately high in purines)
White rice

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Partners

We went on a mini-geocaching expedition today. It started with lunch in Alden at the Wild Onion, and then we finished the Alden Historical Tour cache. It was on the chilly side today - I should have worn my winter coat. Brrr. It was good to be out with my partner again.

On the way home we went back woodsing and Dick found a cache at Guernsey Lake. It was interesting to be in the woods with all of the deer hunters. They are out in force in their orange outfits and their guns. We didn't see any deer.

This morning we went to the store, and Thanksgiving dinner is now in the freezer and the pantry.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On My Own

Dick was at training again today. He said it was very interesting to learn some new things pertaining to Native Americans- there were 8 or 9 of them in attendance from 3 different counties. They have to deal with Elders who receive payments from some treaty settlement which are not regarded as income. The payments have an impact upon their applications for Medicaid.

Meanwhile, I began the day by going to have my teeth cleaned. This was another appointment that we had to cancel in September - that's why so many appointments have piled up in November. Dr. Kevin is from the U of M, so we talked about the upcoming game. He's worried. (Imagine that.) Then I found out that one of his patients showed up this week in an OSU sweatshirt. I said - Do you accept that kind of patient? He said - Yes, but I charge them double.

The next event was more pool therapy - it was pretty much a repetition of the first session. Today I found out that my therapist is allergic to the bromine in the water. She has hyper-sensitive skin, and being in the pool makes her itchy. She said she showers and scrubs for 15 minutes after her 3 hours in the pool. Such irony - to be allergic to your work environment. The pool was less crowded today. When I watch the other patients, I feel very lucky because I have no pain. It was obvious that some of the others are really suffering. My therapy is for weakness only. After the pool I went to the grocery store.

So today I feel like an effective, independent adult woman - I was out and about on my own from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Another first on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

F & P

Dick has more all day training today and tomorrow.

Don't laugh, but I got my gift wrapping station set up downstairs, and I actually wrapped six or seven gifts. I know it's early, but I want to do it gradually instead of having a last minute rush. Christmas will see four of us here (Dick&Nan, Jana, Mom), and four of us in Florida (Laurie&Chip, Dylan and Tom) - so we have a lot of shipping to prepare for.

After his meeting, Dick went geocaching and found Whitard's newest puzzle cache.

Dick brought in the mail when he got home, and we had a package from Frank and Peggy. Two stocking caps were inside - beautiful colors of the forest, with images of deer, and personalized with our names on the front. They are really spectacular. Such a pleasant surprise. Thank you Peggy!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bones, Burritos, and Bikes

Dick worked at the Agency. I had another wonderful medical morning (hah), a bone density test closely followed by a mammogram. The density test is a breeze. You just lay on a special table fully clothed and stay still for a few minutes and that's it. The mamm. was not as bad as I remembered - not bad at all really. Maybe I'm just getting accustomed to it.

We met for lunch at La Senorita, and it was very nice. It was Senior Citizen Day so we got 25% off the total. Such a deal! Then we went to the library to do some more research on recumbent bikes, and then we went around the corner to McClain's and bought one! It's being delivered this afternoon at 4 o'clock. It's by Vision Fitness. I think it will be a big help. I tried it out and it was wonderful to have a back rest and a big seat. Hooray! It was $100 off, and the salesman cut the delivery and setup fee in half, so we got another good deal. I personally think that the cane creates sympathy...I could be wrong.

We drove home in a beautiful snowfall, with big fluffy flakes. Makes me think it' s about time to buy the Thanksgiving turkey.

Wow. All of the Maize and Blue Faithful are really looking forward to next Saturday's game with Ohio State, (a know-nothing party school). It's a major rivalry every single year. We used to sing their fight song with different words "Liquidate Ohio State and humble Woody Hayes." I don't have a song for Coach Tressel.

This year the game takes on national significance because it's between the number 1 and the number 2 teams in the country, and the winner will play in the National Championship game. I think our team is ready, and up for the challenge. OSU has many outstanding athletes, but they may not have the chemistry and team spirit that Michigan has. No matter what the outcome, it has been a great season for Lloyd and his team, and we're naturally wishing them all the best.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Meijer Wipe Out

The last Concord Place newsletter asked that we make sure that our resident has hat, gloves and boots in case it becomes necessary to leave the building. I knew that Mom's winter coat was there, and I also knew that she didn't have any of the other things with her. So we went to Meijer to get those items and to do some grocery shopping. I found just the right hat and gloves, but they didn't have boots the right size for Mother. I got my big feet from her.

Somewhere around the cottage cheese section, I got very tired of walking (limping) around, and headed for the front. I should have known that would happen - Meijer is just too big for me at the moment. I always get over-tired there, even with a cart to lean on. Dick checked out while I sat on a bench with two really old gentlemen.

We visited Mother - she likes the hat and gloves very much. We had a nice visit, but a short one because I wanted to go home.




Saturday, November 11, 2006

Game Day/Veterans' Day

HAPPY VETERANS' DAY
Lest We Forget


November 11, 2006 Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Memorial Stadium)
Score: #2 Michigan 34, Indiana 3
Records: U-M (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten), Indiana (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 18 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 3:30 p.m.

Breaston Shines as Michigan Defeats Indiana

Event Recap | Boxscore | Player Participation | Postgame Notes | Photos

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Fifth-year senior Steve Breaston (North Braddock, Pa./Woodland Hills HS) broke loose with a pair of touchdowns as No. 2 Michigan defeated Indiana, 34-3, Saturday (Nov. 11) at Memorial Stadium. Breaston scored on a 62-yard passing play and added a career long 83-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Wolverines (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) won for the 50th time against the Hoosiers (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten)


Michigan battles top-ranked Ohio State in the 103rd renewal of college football's greatest rivalry next Saturday (Nov. 18) at Ohio Stadium. The Wolverines and Buckeyes will wage battle in a nationally televised game by ABC at 3:30 p.m. EST

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cushy

Mother's new seat cushion arrived today, and this one wasn't defective. Dick was volunteering at the Visitor Center, so I had a solo outing to deliver the cushion. Mother liked it - her old seat pad was really unsatisfactory - so I'm hoping she'll be more comfortable now. The dining room there is decorated for Thanksgiving, and it looks spectacular!

Since I was out and about, doing errands and such, I stopped in at the Visitor Center and surprised Dick. I was the 4th visitor of the morning! It was such a slow day. Kathee said it was like the middle of winter during a blizzard.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Geocaching Adventures

Dick spent the day geocaching in the Bellaire area. I think he found approximately seven for the day. His favorite was at the grocery store in Bellaire - the clue for the coordinates is a grocery list - it was very clever.

I'm still not ready to sit in the car that long. I went grocery shopping, did some walking, and the Sit and be Fit exercises. Soon I hope to be Dick's partner again intead of sitting home alone.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dems Rule

The Democrats have control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years! It looks like they will win control of the Senate also, depending on whether there will be a recount in Virginia, and on which caucus Joe Lieberman votes with. As an Independent, he could go either way.

Dick got a kick out of the news that the last two Republicans to concede were named Burns and Allen. (Conrad Burns and George Allen). Goodnight, Gracie.

Jennifer Granholm won re-election as our Governor, And Debbie Stabenow retains her Senate seat.

With the Democrats in charge, we're hoping to see movement on the minimum wage, Medicare reform, etc. As far as the war in Iraq goes I'm not sure how easy it will be to clean up the mess that the Bush Administration has made. Somebody should have told the candidates "Be careful what you wish for".

Whew!

This is the day I've been looking forward to. Not. First came the annual physical exam, which I passed with flying colors - hooray for me. My counts were the best they've been since 2000 and everything checked out well.

Next came the first session of aqua therapy. Now this was kind of a challenge for me, as I have never been a pool person, and I wasn't looking forward to limping around a fitness center in a bathing suit. But I am so brave (ha) that I did it anyway. That shows you how badly I want to improve my mobility.

The pool is long and narrow and very warm, thank goodness. It doesn't have a deep end. The deepest it gets is armpit high for me. I think that it's only used for therapy - at least today everyone was being "therapeutic". I may have been the oldest, but I was not the fattest, believe it or not. (Inside joke).

The therapy is one on one, and that is a very good thing. My therapist (Kari) is very friendly and pleasant. She explained why we were doing every exercise, and how it would help me. She was very encouraging and helpful. We did a lot of walking - then she told me exactly what I had to change to walk correctly. It's easy to move in the water, but I still was having balance problems - sometimes it felt like I was going to float away. In addition to the walking, I did shoulder exercises, balancing exercises, weight shifting exercises, and such like that. The session lasted for 40-45 minutes, and Kari thinks I'll need more appointments than I have scheduled. She's going to call me if there are cancellations. She thinks that my hips are weak also, as well as my left leg, most likely from having been immobilized for a month.

The locker room is lovely, with great benches and nice carpeting. I was able to change out of my soggy suit with no embarrassment because there were only a couple of others in there and they were ignoring me anyway. The main reason I changed is that a wet bathing suit is not very comfortable, and it was dripping all over the carpet. My original plan was to slip into sweats and change at home, but I think that would have been most uncomfortable.

We went out to lunch at the Big Eazy, which was close, convenient, and yummy. Dick had etoufee and I had a quesadilla. It was so good. It was listed on the menu as an appetizer, but I brought home half of it.

Talked to Dylan twice today - before school and after school - so we are the luckiest ones!

Yesterday was mid-term Election Day, and most of the Good Guys won. It was a spectacular election. Now we get to see how power corrupts Democrats. Power did quite a job on the Republicans. We still have two more years of W. Oh well.
In Michigan, we kept Jenny and Debbie, and that's a Very Good Thing. In the House, the Democrats became the majority and in the Senate the Virginia seat is still up for grabs. If the Democrat wins, they'll have a majority in the Senate, too. The Democrat, James H. (Jim) Webb's name wouldn't fit on the voting machine - it just said James H. (Jim). I'm wondering if in California the voting machine said Arnold Swartz.

W. fired Rumsfeld today. What an impeccable sense of timing. Last week he said that Rumsfeld was doing a fantastic job. If Rumsfeld had been fired last week, maybe the election would have had a different outcome. Interesting.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

Dick had more MMAP all-day training today. I went to the drug store and got some Aleve for Mother and went in for a short visit. She has no interest in elections anymore, but she definitely leans Republican. She hasn't really kept up with what's going on in the outside world as far as pre-emptive war, imprisonment, removal of basic rights, and torture. I believe she's more of a Milliken Republican - the kind we had 50 years ago.

Dick left his meeting a little bit early so that we could go vote before the after-work crowd. We went to the fire house first, and then realized that voting must be at the township hall. We finally got to the right place, and it was not the least bit crowded, and there were only a couple of people ahead of us.

The early returns from around the country were very encouraging. The Democratic candidates are winning from coast to coast. We went to bed early but happy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rejoining the Human Race

I'm feeling human again. I haven't used the cane for 2 days, although I'm still slow and a little limpy. I keep finding bills that haven't been paid, and one that was paid twice!! So that kind of evens out. I found an appointment reminder for September that got lost in the shuffle - but it was just the annual dermatology checkup, so not exactly vital. I'm doing that tomorrow.
I've driven twice, once by myself. Today I went to the beautiful shop (inside joke) for the first time since June! That's the main reason that I feel human again. After that, Dick took me out to lunch (Red Lobster) for the first time since July! Now there's an odd reason for feeling proud of yourself!

The news is full of John Kerry's botched joke. The reporters seem to have forgotten about Bush's Botched War, which is not a joke. http://images.ucomics.com/comics/ta/2006/ta061101.gif

Last Sunday we went to the Concord Place Halloween party! I'll bet you're jealous. After that kissing game last summer that Laurie and Chip played along with us and some other couples, Dick swore that he would never again play a game at a Concord party. Ahem! This time he was shamed into doing the ghost walk...and he didn't even win anything! I think that Mother had a good time (and that's what it's all about) - she waved at all of her fellow residents, ate a lot for lunch, and stayed for an hour and a half. A real party animal!

Jana says she's feeling much better, and is back at work. She sounded great on the phone. Tom sent a picture of his latest mountain biking incident - a lacerated arm (no, not that arm, the other arm.) Evidently his biking buddies are making sure that someone has a camera to record whatever happens, because they're sure that something will. For Christmas, Tom is getting a lifetime supply of Neosporin, a biker's first aid kit, and a new sling,

Dylan hasn't called for two mornings in row, so we don't have a report on trick or treating or on the field trip to the Environmental Study Center. We don't even know what the spelling words are for this week. (Heavy sigh)

This week I was a widow for two days in a row. Tuesday I was a geocaching widow, and Wednesday I was a Medicare volunteer training widow. I was lucky, though, because when Jana was here in September, she left a couple of good books!

We had an inch of snow this morning at Basswood Bend. We drove into town, and there was nary a flake to be seen. More snow is predicted for the next two days.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Blustery Game Day

What's your pleasure? Rain, sleet, snow, high winds, sunshine - we had all of those this afternoon while we watched Michigan win:

Football: #2 Michigan 17, Northwestern 3
Football Earns Homecoming Victory Over Northwestern

The No. 2-ranked Michigan foootball team forced five Northwestern turnovers and held the Wildcats to -13 yards rushing for a 17-3 victory on a rainy, blustery Saturday afternoon, Oct. 28, at Michigan Stadium. David Harris led the Wolverines defense with six tackles, while LaMarr Woodley stopped Northwestern's initial drive by forcing and recovering a fumble, and Leon Hall added an interception and a fumble recovery. Mike Hart rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown, while Chad Henne threw for 116 yards and one TD.

MSU did not fare as well:

10/28/06
Spartans Fall Short In Bloomington
Kellen Lewis threw five touchdown passes, including a school-record four to James Hardy, and ran for another score in leading Indiana past Michigan State 46-21 on Saturday. Michigan State (4-5, 1-4 Big Ten), a week removed from pulling off the biggest comeback in Division I-A history, grabbed the lead with a touchdown on the opening drive of the game.

We couldn't believe that Indiana scored 46 points! MSU is really on a roller coaster this season!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Tom!

Hello San Diego, and Happy Birthday!! You helped me pass out candy to trick or treaters when you were 5 days old! All of the neighborhood kids met you right away.

I'm doing well. I'm trying to walk more and more without the cane. I do tire easily, but expect improvement day by day. The aqua therapy starts Nov. 8. The prescription is for 1 to 3 times a week for 4 weeks to strengthen the left leg.

After that's done, depending on how things go, Dick and I could both re-up at the fitness place, or do the Senior Citizen thing in the pool at the Civic Center. We're also shopping for a recumbent stationary bike which was recommended by one of the Drs.

I have a sad feeling that we won't be going to the Michigan games any more this season. Dick is staying home with me again this coming weekend. There are only 2 home games left - Northwestern this coming Saturday, and Ball State the weekend after that. To be honest, I don't think I'll be ready to sit on bleachers for the Ball State game either. . Of course I'm very touched that he stays with me and I really appreciate it, but I feel bad, too, because these games are important to him and I hate to see him miss the opportunity. Makes me sorry to be the cause of it all, but I'm not depressed or anything because I'm happy to be making good progress.

I have been able to go grocery shopping a couple of times, visiting Mother, shopping for the bike, and cleaning my bedroom closet - so I'm not entirely useless. I've even fixed a couple of suppers. Dick is still driving me everywhere.

Dick is busy getting the yard ready for winter, doing some geocaching, plus he's still doing most of the cooking. Generally speaking all is well here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Recumbent Bikes, Bedrooms, & Burqas

We're shopping for a recumbent stationary bike for both of us. It was recommended by one of the Doctors because it's easier on the back. We think we want the Schwinn, but I think we'll have to have the bike shop order one because nobody seems to have one in stock. We don't want to buy on the internet because of service, instruction, etc. Today we went to 3 different bike/fitness shops, and we've been to a couple of others previously. We're closing in on decision time.

Today I cleaned my room, which in some cases means taking things from a pile in my room and putting them in a pile in a different place (heavy sigh). Anyway, now I have cleaned out one half of my closet of dark despair plus my room. Next I'll sort out the other half of the closet of d.d., and after that I'll probably have to clean my room again! (The never-ending battle with clutter continues.) Then I'll start on drawers, which is easier because you can do drawers one at a time.

Dick found a great article in the Washington Post by Anne Applebaum. She writes about how disconcerting it is for the Western world to accept veiled Muslim women in the workplace and in schools. She points out that it's not discrimination, it's just our custom to "look each other in the eye" and take notice of peoples' facial expressions. I think she did a superb job of articulating how people should behave in a country that has established rules of behavior and communication. I loved the article. See it at the link above (click on the title). Here is a short excerpt:

"And yet, at a much simpler level, surely it is also true that the full-faced veil -- the niqab, burqa or chador -- causes such deep reactions in the West not so much because of its political or religious symbolism but because it is extremely impolite. Just as it is considered rude to enter a Balinese temple wearing shorts, so, too, is it considered rude, in a Western country, to hide one's face. We wear masks when we want to frighten, when we are in mourning or when we want to conceal our identities. To a Western child -- or even an adult -- a woman clad from head to toe in black looks like a ghost. Thieves and actors hide their faces in the West; honest people look you straight in the eye."