Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kooky Colloids

The area that Dylan chose to experiment with for his science fair project was colloids/non-Newtonian fluids. His original title was Kooky Colloids, but his final title was Ketchup: Thick or Thin.

The entire project is due tomorrow, complete with Report, Log Book, Abstract, Photographs, Data and Results. He has everything done - it just needs to be printed out, mounted and pasted onto the display board, and his log book and Abstract need to be organized and put in report covers.

The display board as a work in progress:

Dylan polishing up his Abstract:

Laurie is cutting, Dylan is gluing, I am supervising, Dick is preserving everything for posterity!

The Finished Product, complete with Report and Log Book in report covers, and one proud scientist!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In Which We Celebrate a Florida Thanksgiving

Chip working on dinner preparations.

Mary Lou and I watching everybody else work!

Laurie made a kids' playground in the backyard hoping that they would play outside - and they really did stay outside most of the day!

Laurie monitoring dinner.

Andrew and Blake

Laurie keeps her eye on everything.

Chip takes over as the master carver!

Laurie is on top of things!

Master carver with the other turkey.
Lisa and I having friendly chat.

Is he doing it right?

Everybody's honorary Grandpa.
Laurie set a beautiful table! There were 15 of us for dinner - Bob, Andi, Laynie, Ty, Lisa, Andrew, Kyle, Jessica, Blake, Andi's neighbor Mary Lou, Laurie, Chip, Dylan and us.

The kids enjoyed eating at the kids' table.
After dinner and clean up it was time for volleyball! Nobody won! Bob, Mary Lou and I are way back in the peanut gallery.

Gobble gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In Which We Spend the Day on the Relentless Race Track

An early start seemed to be a good idea. The plan was to get through downtown Atlanta before the rush hour. Well...I think rush hour has no start or finish in Atlanta. We left the motel and were driving through Atlanta at 6:30 a.m., and it was bumper to bumper at 70 mph. What a rat race. But I must say that downtown Atlanta is beautiful in the dark - it was all lighted up - spectacular looking. Dick couldn't really appreciate it because he definitely had to keep his eyes on the road!

South Georgia is remembered for cotton fields, pecan trees and road construction. Next year we'll have a brand new road.

At Ashburn we pulled off for beverages. Did you know that Ashburn is the home of the National Fire Ant Festival?

Arrived at Dylan's around 5 p.m.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In Which We Take a Most Bizarre Side Trip

Talked to Dylan this morning while he was on his way to school. We talked about pie, because today is Pie Day at Palm City Elementary. He had never heard of apple pie with cheese, or lemon meringue, or mince - but he does know about pumpkin pie with whipped cream. He's also very familiar with Key lime pie, being a genuine Florida boy. We were wondering why there is no Key orange pie or Key grapefruit pie!

At one point while passing through Kentucky on I-75, our Florida realtor called and said that she needs a cashier's check instead of a personal check this year. Banks are getting choosy about the validity and guarantees of the checks they accept and her office is choosy about not accepting credit cards because they don't trust the banks! (Strange world in which we live.)

Well, that's no problem. NUVI found a 5th/3rd bank only 16 miles away in Cynthiana, Kentucky, and she sent us down Kentucky State Highway 32. Well, let me tell you, this was the weirdest State Highway we've ever been on. It was a very narrow paved road with no stripes painted on, no guardrails on severe drop-offs, no shoulders, and curve after curve - some of them very sharp! We went through Sadieville and Connorsville. In downtown Sadieville there is a sharp right turn on the "highway" where the road is about as wide as a bike path. If someone would be coming in the other direction at the same time, it would be a sticky situation.

Finally, we pulled into Cynthiana - a very nice town with every amenity you could want - and there was the Fifth Third Bank as promised. It was a very friendly bank -the teller gave me the cashier's check efficiently, and never asked for any ID - go figure. The entire lobby was decorated with all kinds of Univ. of Kentucky stuff - pictures, pennants, flags, footballs, etc.

We filled up with gas, and stopped at McDnald's for beverages. In the McDonald's there were 21 men and me. The men were mostly senior citizens sitting around the tables and talking about their tobacco checks.

Previously we had seen a truck loaded tobacco, and on the way back to I-75 on a much better route, we saw many tobacco barns.

Near I-75 at Georgetown, KY there is a HUGE Toyota factory. I was so glad to see that American workers reallky are employed by Toyota - it soothes my conscience a bit because we bought a foreign car.

Entering Georgia we saw a lake which had lost a lot of water because of the drought - it looked like a lake on the moon might look. Spent the night in Marietta, Georgia.

Monday, November 24, 2008

In Which We Set Out in a Snowstorm

Left home in heavy, blowing snow to make our way to sunny Florida - what a contrast! It was really very slow going all the way to Cadillac, where we finally found some clear pavement.

We went down 127 (my new favorite route) and stopped at Papa John's Cider Mill for lunch. While we were inside, the snow started up again, and fell so heavily that when we came out everything was blanketed with fresh, wet snow. It continued snowy through Lansing, and from then on we had a wintry mix and then rain all the way to our first destination at Franklin, Ohio.

This was really a dismal day. We never saw the sun. We're one third of the way to Dylan's house.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Go Grand Valley

Michigan lost,

State lost,
Central lost,
Eastern lost,
Western plays Ball State next Tuesday....and then there's the Lions...

BUT GVSU beat Ashland 40-7 in the NCAA Div.II playoffs. Next Saturday they play Minnesota-Duluth in the quarterfinals.

Go Grand Valley Lakers! I'm your newest fan.

Michigan Ends Season With Loss at No. 10 Ohio State
November 22, 2008
Site: Columbus, Ohio (Ohio Stadium)
Score: #10 Ohio State 42, Michigan 7
Records: U-M (3-9, 2-6 Big Ten), Ohio State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Game: Season Complete

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The University of Michigan football team contained No. 10 Ohio State for 30 minutes of football, helping the underdog Wolverines enter the locker room with a manageable 14-7 deficit, but the Buckeyes awoke in the second half, scoring 28 unanswered points in a 42-7 victory Saturday afternoon (Nov. 22) at Ohio Stadium.

Michigan ended the season with 30 turnovers, the most in the Big Ten.
The current coach is quoted as saying that fans who are unhappy should get a life.
Another record broken this year - Michigan lost 5 games at home.

The coach was born and bred in West Virginia. He attended West Virginia University and married a WVU cheerleader. He has coached hither and yon, notably at Tulane, Clemson and WVU. One would think that having the head coaching position at West Virginia would be his dream job. But after coaching there for 7 seasons he was willing to walk away from his alma mater to come to Michigan. That seems odd to me. It tells me that he is a gypsy coach with no true loyalties and will go wherever the grass looks greener.

This coach is saying that since he doesn't have to do bowl game practices, he will have more time to recruit. He may have to have super powers to recruit any young, enthusiastic, hopeful football player to come to Michigan after this most miserable, deplorable and wretched season.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Visitor Center Christmas Party

Having Dick be one of the volunteers at the Visitor Center is so great because every year we are treated to the best Christmas party ever. This year it was held at the Hagerty Center right in the midddle of the Festival of Trees. A silent auction was part of the Trees event, so there were tables and tables full of all kinds of Christmas items. To be honest, it was a touch of over-doing Christmas even before Thanksgiving, but it did make the party very festive.

The brightness outside the windows is caused by a blinding snowstorm!

The food was fabulous, and our table was varied and interesting - Pete and Karen, Chuck and Carol, the Locks, and us. The conversation flowed from the Peace Corps, how there are too many environmentalists in the Grand Traverse Area (!), new buildings and homes in Traverse City, how the West End Beach is a mess and needs to be cleaned up, the miserable Michigan football season, trips south for the winter, and the doings of children and grandchildren. I also had a chance to talk to Nancy and Don, Kay, Phyllis, and Kathee.

It was a lovely party, and a great kick-off for the holiday season.

In preparation for our trip to Florida we are packing suitcases, washing clothes and sheets, making lists, organizing our medications, making lists of our lists, cleaning out the car, planning how to pack the car, loading maps into the Nuvi, and re-packing suitcases. It seems impossible now, but we'll be ready to leave on Monday morning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The North Wind Doth Blow

This is the day that the winter season officially arrived. Snow and blowing snow, and wind stirring everything up. We drove to the bay just for fun. At the marina, the wind was straight out of the north. The bay was very angry. with big waves and whitecaps. I'm going to remember that image whenever I think that it's too hot in Florida! We're leaving on Monday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chilly Con Carnage

I borrowed the title of this post from the Detroit newspaper - I thought it was very, very clever - and it's hard to find anything else good about today's game.

First of all, it rained steadily in southern Michigan from the time we passed through Lansing on Friday until late Saturday night. It was a relentless drizzle - cold, cold, cold and very damp. We thought we were well prepared to sit out in the Stadium and enjoy the game - we had layers and layers, warm sox, rain jackets, a blanket, hats, and ponchos. We were soaked way before the game started. Most of the friends who sit around us did not come to the game, and they were the smart ones. We sat there and just got drenched. The rain would turn to snow, and then alternate for the rest of the afternoon.

I was shivering by half time, and really couldn't even take pleasure in the fantastic halftime show. I don't know how those band kids do it - I think it's Youth!

The bottom line is, we were cold, wet, shivering, and losing - not a fun combo.

Ask me what I think of Coach Rodriguez. I think he's a real record-breaker. After 129 years of the University of Michigan football program, today is the day we clinched eight (8) losses in a single season for the first time ever. This new coach has broken several records in his brief tenure.

l. Historical first 8 loss season in 129 years of Michigan football;

2. First loss ever to a MAC school - (and Toledo is only a mediocre MAC school);

3. First loss to Penn State in 12 years. Michigan had won the last 9 consecutive games until this year. The last time Penn State beat Michigan was in 1996;

4. Not going to a Bowl game for the first time in over 30 years (we'll have to watch the 2007 Capital One Bowl game against Florida over and over again);

5. First season with no winning streak - not even two in a row;

6. First time a Michigan coach blames the team for everything.

There are probably more I could add to that list, but just thinking about the whole season is more disheartening than I have the heart for. One of Dick's favorite sayings is "...from the penthouse to the outhouse." That is the 2008 football season in a nutshell.

This coach's remarks are also a disappointment. He began the season by calling the Michigan players "soft". After all of this year's losses, his remarks usually contain a noun, a verb, and "execution" (to paraphrase Joe Biden). In the article about this Northwestern game, he said that the players played and competed - well no kidding. That's like saying that they were breathing and their blood was circulating. Inspirational he is not. Motivational he is not. Effective he is not.

He also said that he appreciated so many people coming to the game in such bad weather. What did he expect? I don't understand his attitude, his program, his performance, or his expectations. I know what I expect from the Michigan football program, and this isn't it.

U-M Drops Rain-Soaked Affair to Northwestern on Senior Day
November 15, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 21, Michigan 14
Records: U-M (3-8, 2-5 Big Ten), Northwestern (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten)
Attendance: 107,856
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Nov. 22 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), Noon

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football team played three solid quarters of football, holding Northwestern to 80 yards of offense in the first half and building a 14-7 lead, but Wildcat quarterback C.J. Bacher threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter to seal U-M's fate in a 21-14 loss Saturday (Nov. 15) at Michigan Stadium.

Our weekend stay at Snider's was fabulous. Their home is so comfortable, and we just feel like family when we're there.

Jan and I doing a game post-mortem in their newly redecorated kitchen! (As if Jan really cared)!

We had a great time. The food is good, the gas log is warm (ooooh that felt good!), the hospitality is awesome, and the conversation is interesting and fun.

They're heading to California for Thanksgiving at Hank's, and then they'll come back to Michigan to have Christmas with their kids in Canton. We'll all be in California in January for Adam's Bar Mitzvah.

Here's our new Toyota Rav4 in Bill's driveway. I'm always miffed when we pull up behind Jan's car because her license plate holder says "My grandkids are cuter than your grandkids"! Such nerve!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Steigers and Sniders Rule!

Laurie had a long layover in LA and so she rented a car and went to Reiko's home in San Clemente. Kim drove over too, and the three of them had their very own high school/camping/childhood reunion. I can't remember the last time the three of them were together... They are cracking up in the picture because they are teasing about doing the can-can instead of just posing. It looks to me as though a good time was had by all!
Reiko, Laurie, and Kimiko

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Warmth, Friends, and Comfort

The program for today was lunch/supper with James and Sheryl over in South Branch.

On the way over, we made a planned stop at Tim and Susie's cabin so we could see all of their renovations. They've added a master bedroom and bath plus a laundry room, and now they're working on insulating the upstairs/loft area. The cabin looks great, and the new rooms are really charming. Everything is done in the Lodge style, so fitting for their great place on the Manistee. After shooting the breeze for an hour or so, we all headed off to James and Sheryl's farm - of course we had to stop and do a virtual cache along the way!

The soup was on the stove, the homemade bread was waiting, and J & S welcomed us with open arms. Their hospitality is famous, and we enjoyed the warmth and comfort of their beautiful home, and the fellowship around the table!

Driving home through a white-out of snow was a first for us this season. It never accumulated, but it lowered the visibility noticeably. We were driving the Explorer because we haven't picked up our new (used) car yet.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Michigan fans got an early Christmas gift today when the Michigan football team kind of, actually, almost looked like themselves while beating Minnesota.

There's nothing to salvage from this season, but it was enjoyable to have a flash of what used to be.

Even Tom, in his own Tom way, declared that today, the team at least looked functional.

Here at the river, things were very calm. We didn't get excited at all, just appreciative. We've learned how quickly things can change, and we've been disappointed maybe once too often, so we were just observers.

Sometime around 5 minutes to go in the game we said well, gee, it looks like we might win this one. That's how badly our confidence has been shaken this season. Michigan has had winning seasons and losing seasons and winning seasons are much more fun.
Wolverines Hold on to Little Brown Jug with Win at Minnesota
November 8, 2008

Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (HHH Metrodome)
Score: Michigan 29, Minnesota 6
Records: U-M (3-7, 2-4 Big Ten), Minnesota (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten)
Attendance: 55,040
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Nov. 15 -- vs. Northwestern (Michigan Stadium), Noon

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Defense led the way for the University of Michigan football team as the Wolverines held Minnesota to a season-low 188 yards and six points, while all the offense Michigan needed came from the leg of fifth-year senior kicker K.C. Lopata (Farmington, Mich./Farmington) and his program-record five field goals as U-M retained the Little Brown Jug in a 29-6 victory Saturday afternoon (Nov. 8) at the HHH Metrodome.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Palin Pales in Comparison With Dylan

How unqualified can one person be? I'm positive that Dylan knows that Africa is a continent, and also that he could name the countries of North America! Oh, my goodness...did we ever dodge a bullet?!?!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama, Obama

OK, this is not really me raining on anyone's parade.

I got emotional watching the victory speech and celebrations. I am ecstatic that Obama defeated McCain and The Twit. Of course I'm sentimental about the history that I have witnessed during my lifetime - the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the end of school segregation, the integration of colleges, MLK and the marches in Alabama and the "I have a Dream" speech. It's all very historic and memorable, dynamic and admirable. It's almost unbelievable that our country has come so far in just 4 decades that we now have elected the first African-American President. So I share everyone's sentiments, and we both voted for Obama with vigor and satisfaction.

However....a few months ago I was thrilled and ecstatic thinking that we would finally have a woman President in my lifetime. I thought that Obama was a fine candidate, but that maybe he shouldn't run at this time because he's much younger than Hillary and would have more future chances at a Presidential candidacy. Waiting for another time would give him a chance to get more Senatorial experience under his belt, and learn more about foreign relations, military operations, etc. I was never anti-Obama, just thought that he was maybe not quite ready yet. In reality, I was thinking that I might not have that much time left to see a woman in the top office of the land, so go Hillary, go.

Well it was not to be. Dick disagrees with me, but I kind of feel that women now can plainly see their place in the pecking order. Obama, is after all, a man - and so, obviously far preferable than any woman regardless of her proven ability, intelligence, experience, knowledge of foreign affairs, and other highly skilled Presidential qualities.

I was joking with Jana and said that Dick wants to name his next baby Barack. I sincerely wanted to name my next baby Hillary.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Presidential Election Day

It's been more than a week since I was rear-ended, and I'm feeling fine - back to normal. Except, as you know, for me normal is not that good to begin with! Anyway, my bruises are fading, and I never had any bad pain or anything - just tenderness and achiness for a couple of days. I was indeed lucky. Plus, our little Subaru really protected me.

The Subaru was totaled, and so MEEMIC will be sending us a check in a couple of weeks. We've been shopping around today and we've tentatively decided to get a 2007 Toyota Rav4 from Wares Brothers. We drove it around today and really liked it.

We had a pleasant voting experience this morning - only one person in front of us, and lots of workers - it all seemed very well organized. Dick was concerned about having to stand in line for a long time, so he packed water and chairs - we were ready! We figure that the whole voting process took us less than 10 minutes. Now we wait for a little good news! I saw myself on Channel 4 News as I was walking out of the East Bay Township Hall polling place. I was on TV for about 1.5 seconds!

I have an appointment tomorrow at 8 a.m. for a double root canal. Maybe it won't be so bad if I have an Obama victory to celebrate.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Martha Cook Picture

When we picked up our mail yesterday, included in it was my Martha Cook Building Alumnae Newsletter (Cookie Crumbs). Imagine my surprise when on page 9 I spotted a group picture from 1956 which I recognized right away, because I'm in the first row! So now my college days qualify for historic pictures?

In the newsletter it actually says, "Can anyone help put some names to these faces?" It's just like in the Grand Traverse Herald every Wednesday with the pictures of the 1908 baseball team, except that this time it's ME! YE GODS! If you click on the picture it gets a little bit bigger. I'm 3rd from the right in the front row.

I did write a letter to help the gals "put names to the faces", which is very easy because the names are all right there in the YEARBOOK for crying out loud! Not exactly a mystery.

Yes! This picture is in the 1956 Ensian on page 144, complete with all of the names!

I'm in the first row, 3rd from the right (Nancy Kanitz Steiger).

Next to me, 2nd from the right is my maid of honor (Roberta "Bobbie" Evans Hayes).

Behind us, first on the right is my bridesmaid (Carol "Cookie" Cook Boberg). I noticed that on the website enlargement of the picture, Carol is completely cut off - but she's there in the yearbook.

My roomate, Claire Zimmerman Dailey must have missed picture day - she was my other bridedsmaid.

Bobbie, Cookie, Claire and I were all in the Class of 1957.

I married Richard B. Steiger, '59, and we'll be celebrating 52 years in June, so the wedding party did an exceptional job, don't you think?

We all keep in touch, even though we are widely separated - I live in Traverse City, Michigan, Bobbie is in Virginia,
Carol is in Houston, and Claire lives in Naples, Florida.

It was fun to look at the picture again and to see so many friends and familiar faces.

My family and I visited Martha Cook this past September when we were giving my 10 year old grandson a tour of the campus. It was extremely pleasant to see the building looking so much the same, and Dick and I were proud to show it off to my daughter, son and grandson. We shared many good memories of the University in the 50s. It made me proud to be a Cookie all over again!

It was fun to see the picture in the newsletter, and I recognized it right away even though I haven't looked at it in years. Thanks for the opportunity!

Nancy Kanitz Steiger

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Find #2000

Although geocachers say that it's not about the numbers, somehow the numbers become important as you go along. So today we are proudly celebrating the finding of our 2000th geocache.

We did an earth cache over at Elk Lake - it was fun and easy, on a really nice day. The pictures didn't turn out - they were purple for some reason.

So we went back the next day, which was not such a nice day, and took the official 2000th find pictures.

We weren't really happy with those either, so Tim and Susie took these other pictures for us at a later date. Anyway, it's a minor big deal, if there is such a thing.

We wanted to do a special cache for number 2000 and after suffering through another Wolverine disaster, decided to take a drive and find this one. We have been here many times, the Elk, Skegemog, Torch cruise is one of our favorites which is highlighted by lunch at Docksides. When we were kids, there was still an excursion boat that sailed out of Elk Rapids and the bridges across the Torch and Clam rivers were the swing type. Thanks for bringing us out today.