Halloween - 2014

What a day/night for Halloween!    COLD and WINDY with gusts up to 39 mph.    Some sun, but mostly dreary!    Mark has a nasty cold, so staying put today!   No trick or treating for him!
Exercised this morning and then got the ironing caught up, wrapped more gifts and after lunch started in on Christmas treasures.    When we sorted thru and decluttered the house for the garage sale (two garages you recall), I did not have time nor the desire back in June to sort thru all my Christmas, but knew it had to be done sometime.    So.....today starts that project of deciding what to keep, give to our kids and remainder put in estate sale when house sells?
The "For Sale" sign in front yard was picked up today - after 4 months on the market, 6 open houses, 1 open house/luncheon for realtors, full-page colored ad in paper and St. Joseph buried in back yard, it just didn't happen.    So.....we will winterize house when we go south for the winter and try again next spring!!!
I picked up gondolas and enjoyed supper with Anne's friends and kids before they went trick or treating.   I stayed at their house and gave out candy - not a real big crowd.    That wind is just ferocious and still shows no sign of dying down!

Liam and Connor (scary.....)
Luke is the One-eyed monster
and then changes into...
And this is Grandma when she gave out the treats - Had several reactions and
compliments on my mask!!!
And non-related Halloween photos....
Miss Blair in her big-girl chair
Grandparents Day - 2014
Bye bye October,,,,,

Thursday - October 30

This Halloween Eve is nasty - cold and rainy.    The whole day was dreary with afternoon drizzle, but had a very fun day with friends.   I drove to Allie's new condo and met Jane there near Peoria.    Great to see Allie and Owen again, and of course, Janie Girl!!!  After the grand tour (very nice and roomy), we girls left for Galesburg and met Barb (we all went to Midstate College together many years ago).    We shopped (good "Grandma" shopping at Mother Goosebumps) and other cute gift stores.    We had lunch at The Landmark Café, always a favorite with lots of chatter + lattes and wonderful dessert crepes.  
The shoppers ready to take off from Allie's condo
Allie - Jane - Pat
Tuesday is Barb's birthday - sang to her as she enjoyed her strawberry crepe with candle
Allie - Jane - Barb - Pat
Landmark Cafe
Mark ran errands and worked on some home projects.  He picked the boys up from school.   I got home at 4:00 and they are staying till 7 when Anne gets off work.   Liam and I went to Meatheads and brought home supper.
H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N
Hope you get all treats tomorrow night!!!

Wednesday - October 29

Dreary day (although sun had been promised)!    We got back at the exercising (EASED into it as it's been several days).    Mark did Daisy jobs, I did more laundry and started some inside cleaning of Daisy.    Time to get her cleaned, restocked, put our summery clothes onboard and be ready to roll outta here the 13th heading to Ryan's in Pensacola.
I voted late this morning, had lunch with Exchange Club and got a haircut.    This afternoon I got my wrapping station in the basement all set up and started in on some Christmas gifts!    I am off and running....
A treat to be home tonight - enjoyed some good soup from Menards (Cream of Potato),
salad and muffins.

Tuesday - October 28

Off and running this morning with Mark taking Daisy to have some shock absorber work done.   I picked him up and on home to get at the laundry which was an avalanche!!!    Finished unpacking and putting stuff away.    My dentist had a cancellation, so could get me in at 10:30 to have temporary crown put on - 1 hour and $1,024.10 (OUCH) later, I was out the door.   I'm scheduled to get the new one on November 12th, the day before we leave for Pensacola.
Lots of leaves fell while I was gone, but our neighborhood is sooo pretty and here are a few more fall delights:
Back yard winner

Just step out our side door and

Burning bush of Marty's next door
Mark and I met Anne and boys, and her friend, Patti and Blaise.  This was a school fund raiser (Monical's will donate 20% of the proceeds back to the boys school).    Good visit and always enjoy the pizza and salad.
Liam - Blaise - Connor
3 Goobers

Lo and behold....about 3 blocks from home, we passed a beautiful home with all their outside Christmas lights on..............duh, not even Halloween yet?    Perhaps they just strung them all today and they were checking to make sure they worked?  
We shall see....

Monday - October 27

I am home!!!    Mark picked Jane and me up at Midway at 4:30 this afternoon after a good flight on Southwest from Phoenix!!!
After breakfast with Bruce and Kay, we were off to the airport with Kay.    Sad to say good bye after a very fun visit!  Their hospitality was so warm and welcoming and of course, all the memories and laughs Jane and I are taking with us!!!     Thanks again VERY much, Kay and Bruce!!!  

Pat - Kay - Jane
Sweet Tucker
Jane and I sat at Starbucks with our PSL's (Pumpkin Spice Latte's) and then took off for our gate (sooo many people traveling this Monday morning).    Good flight, Mark was waiting at baggage claim (Midway was a zoo, too) and we were back home at 7:30 - Jane then had about a 45-minute ride to her home!
FUN 5 days away from home with good friends, Kay and Missy!   
 Ate so well and laughed like silly girls!   
Hope to see these "long"-time friends next March in El Centro, CA when the Blue Angels begin
 their 2015 season and watch Ryan do his thing in #6.

Sunday - October 26

We had muffins from Mimi's Café for quick breakfast and then left Scottsdale taking sooo many memories of our time with Missy.    Not sure when I've laughed so much and so hard!     She delivered us to Kay and Bruce's door in Chandler, visited about 1/2 hour and then had a 4+ hour drive back to  Lake Havasu City.
Missy - Pat - Jane
The Midstate Girls who met in 1966
Bruce, Kay, Jane and I took off for Sweet Tomatoes and yummy lunch of all kinds of awesome salads and soup.   Then we browsed around some shops in Glbert.     And, again.....so many laughs.
Kay brought out some oldies (but goodies) scrap books that her Mom kept from our grade school days and we've been cracking up and taking a wonderful trip down memory lane!!!
So.....tomorrow, it's on home but wow.....sooo much fun in Arizona with 2 very dear friends!

We had a delicious dinner of pulled pork bar-b-que with frozen fruit salad and chips and then a wonderful pumpkin dessert with ice cream!

We have eaten so much these past few days!   Oink Oink
So.....tomorrow, it's on home but wow.....sooo much fun in Arizona with 2 very dear friends! 

Friday/Saturday - October 24-25

Woke up to a clear blue cerulean Arizona sky on Friday morning - enjoyed breakfast on the patio with Kay, Bruce and Jane and more reminiscing and laughing.    We girls set off for a shopping jaunt around 10 and hit the streets of Old Town Scottsdale.    There were many jewelry shops and other Southwestern décor.   Had a great lunch at AZ88 sitting outside.   Today was to tie or break a record  (97), but without the humidity, did not feel bad at all - nothing like IL on a real hot, steamy summer day!
Kay took us to the Villa Mirage Resort and then went on home.   What fun we've had together and Sunday, we'll be back in Chandler.  Jane and I sat around the pool with our books, mai tai and mojito waiting for Missy to arrive from Lake Havasu City.   We so appreciate her making the long drive (3.5 hours normally) on this Friday afternoon, but with heavy traffic and construction, was close to 5 hours.    But....oh my!   How fun to see her.    Been 8 years for me, but 47 since she and Jane and been together - we all met at Midstate Business College in 1966, but then parted ways after graduation,   But with these long-time friends, we just so easily pick up right where we left off and it was non-stop chatter and laughs.
Our "home" (time share) for the weekend is lovely (thanks to Missy's sister, Penny).     We ate at the Cheesecake Factory - a favorite for all of us.  And then we all went nighty night - tired, but oh-so-ready for more fun tomorrow.
Pat with white sangria and Missy with her pina colada

Checking out the cheesecake choices
And tah dah...our choices to go (red velvet, chocolate mousse and lemoncello torte)
While I'm playing away from home, Mark is helping my brother Bob with the fall harvest!
Beauty of Arizona

And now...our little toddlers
Luke is just getting into Thomas the Train - loves watching the videos
Blair and Ted enjoying Baby Einstein
And the bigger boys
Davis and Brady on Lake James Friday afternoon
Saturday, we lounged around and then drove to The Good Egg for wonderful breakfast outdoors.   Then to the Kierland Mall -all outside fantastic shops with Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.   We just meandered around on this beautiful day!     Back to the Villa Mirage and collapsed with the legs up and looking at pictures of our families.
Missy and Jane enjoying some pictures Saturday after our shopping adventure.   Then we devoured our cheesecake - oink oink!
Went to 5:00 Mass at St. Bernadette and then to Mimi's Café for yummy supper.


Thursday - October 23

Woke up to sunny, clear blue skies here in Chandler!     Had a leisurely morning lounging around in our jammies, drinking coffee/tea and then having yummy breakfast (thanks for the cinnamon rolls, Bruce)     Late morning we girls took off for a little car trip and saw their beautiful club house with all the amenities in a beautiful setting here in their Del Webb community.
After lunch we sat around and visited and laughed and reminisced...
Mexican Bird of Paradise

Night blooming cactus flower (Cereus) 

Beautiful view from their community center.

Mark is back home - quick trip to the boat went well!
Had a wonderful dinner at TQLA in Mesa...
Our host and hostess - Bruce and Kay

Awesome chicken quesadilla with mango cole slaw
The Sublettians
Jane, Kay, Pat

Wednesday - October 22

Hello from Chandler, Arizona!    Jane and I arrived in the sunny, warm south around 2:00 pacific time.   Mark took us to Midway Airport early this morning and then he went to O'Hare and  flew to Washington, DC.    He's going to be staying near Oxford, MD a few days doing Catrina jobs.
Jane and I were sitting at the airport this morning waiting for our flight when we both received an e-mail with the very sad news that our friend Pat (wife of our Sublettian friend, Bill) had passed away.    Pat was diagnosed in August with Hodgkins Lymphoma, but the prognosis was good.   However, the chemo caused a reaction and damaged her lungs.    We are all in shock...
So, we are with Bruce (former Exchangite with me) and Kay (Sublettian friend from waaaay back) for a few days.    Soooo good to see them (they moved away almost 4 years ago because of Bruce's health issues).    They have a lovely home and we had a very fun evening catching up and reminiscing.    Kay served a very delicious dinner (ham and all the trimmings, topped off with raspberry pie!)    Good ole comfort food!
Ready to call it a day - nighty night!   This change in time is catching up!

Tuesday - October 21

Beautiful day again.....an the trees were looking extra glorious with all the sunshine.    Mark and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts this morning and with donuts an a pumpkin spice latte in hand, we were on our way by 7:05.    Stopped in Mendota to see Linda and had donuts and coffee/tea.    Then caught up with Bob out in the field an gave him a donut and chatted briefly    On to the cemetery in Sublette and put a fall basket on Mom and Dad's graves.
Had a good visit with Mark's Mom and then  Sue (Mark's sister) and Tom joined us for lunch and more yakkin' at Town and Country - good time.    Beautiful day for traveling thru the country and watching all the harvesting going on, and oohing and aahing over the spectacular trees.
More fall beauty in the country not far from where I grew up...

However, on our way home, I was munching on some almonds and....broke off a piece of tooth.   I took Mark to pick up Daisy and then headed straight to the dentist.    That place was a zoo, and they told me to come back at 5:00 as there were still several patients to see.    Got in at 5:30 and will need a crown - aaarrrggghhhh!!!!!!!    However, I had been told 6 months ago that this tooth was eventually going to need a crown, so just a matter of time.   Of course, the day before I'm leaving on a 5-day trip was not the best, but they put some kind of cement-type gunk and I should be good to go till I am back home and can have a temporary crown put on.    They are booked solid for next several weeks, so waiting, hoping for cancellation???
Mark picked the boys up from school as Anne had to work till 6.    Patrick is working 2nd shift for several weeks.    Finished up the packing and we'll be ready to roll outta here early morning.    Jane is coming from Peoria.   Mark will take us to Midway for our flight to Phoenix and he will go onto O'Hare and fly off to DC.
Bye bye

Monday - October 20

Today was a picture-perfect fall day - clear blue skies, mid 60's and those glorious fall colors.    We took Daisy to have ball joints replaced.    Mark went to breakfast with the Monday morning group and I had my yearly physical - all is well!   Thank you God!!!    I met the group around 9:50 for a quick visit and then on home to do some more packing, spiff up the house a bit
 (showing house at 1:30).   
I ran some errands and then got a manicure.    Mark had stops to make and then donated blood at the Red Cross.   

Our Monday Night Friends (all 11 of us) met at Donna's for a delicious supper of pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw and homemade squash soup ++++ a yummy pumpkin cake!    Everything was WONDERFUL an so fun to all be together as this doesn't happen too often!

Left:  Donna, Connie, Nadine, Brenda, Ruth, Pat, Jody, Sue, Tamara, Marsha, Linda

Mark went to our Power Squadron Weather class tonight.

Sunday - October 19

We were off hiking after breakfast - another nice day in the woods.    Had just a little sunshine and then all gone!     We stopped back at the lodge and then went to the visitor's center (in all our visits to Starved Rock, had never been here).    Several exhibits to look at and we watched a 15-minute very interesting movie on how Starved Rock came to be, got its name, etc.
Back on Daisy for another caramel apple and other treats.   Grandpa played Blitz with the boys and then we were off for home....of course, along the way, the sun came out and stayed that way all the way!    We had so much fun......just a beautiful place to hang out in God's glorious beauty!
Here are a few scenic pics...mainly yellows and golds this fall with a few oranges and reds
here and there~




And last, but not least.....Grandpa and the boys
We got home around 2:30 after a stop at Barnes & Noble with the boys picking out some new books.    Did some laundry and got our suitcases out - I'm off to Phoenix (girlfriend trip) on Wednesday and Mark is going to Baltimore and then onto Oxford and work on the boat for a few days.

Saturday - October 18

Hello from the campers in Starved Rock......made a big breakfast this morning and then we were off wearing several layers, hiking boots, caps, gloves, etc.    it was very pleasant walking the trails and we saw so many downed trees and some uprooted from bad storm that hit this area back on June 30th   We heard that all the clean-up and repairs have been made and just recently reopened all the trails.   Saw several wooded paths with newly replaced railings.
We had an early lunch at the Lodge Bar (we ate indoors as too chilly outside).    Lots and lots of people here for their prime fall colors weekend.    Just a bummer there was no sun shining again....even had a few sprinkles, but we had fun and it felt so good to hike in this spectacular setting.
Cannot believe how many tent campers there are - burrrr......but they are hearty souls and when you love nature and that's all you have and you really enjoy that????   Well.....you go for it!
After enjoying some "down" time in the afternoon and having a caramel apple, pumpkin bars and brownies, + reading (they got some great books at the book fair), we all cleaned up with hot showers and went to Holy Family in Oglesby for 4:00 Mass!
Back "home" for a wiener roast and supper on our picnic table and then enjoyed a great fire with s'mores, wine and hot cider.   So neat to sit out on this beautiful calm evening and see all the campfires thru the trees.     The boys and I played Blitz and then we watched "Frozen"
Here are some highlights of our day at beautiful Starved Rock....

Grand entrance

Our little Irish lad
Here we are...
Not sure what was going on with thousands of birds we saw and heard off and on today!
Check out these little dirt spots on this sad little guy

Daisy sittin' pretty in #111
Just a few of many, many tents here this weekend including our next-door neighbors from Chicago and their 2-year old daughter!!!
That's enough pics for tonight - slow internet here.    Will share some fall scenery tomorrow....

Friday - October 17

Nice and sunny this morning.....we were off with Liam and Connor at 7:45 for Grandparents Day.   3 hours of fun visiting their classrooms, doing craft projects, playing bingo, eating donuts, and visited the book fair with new purchases  
This afternoon I gave my presentation on our Windstar Cruise "The Splendors of Southern Spain" to my PEO Chapter.    And then Anne brought the boys over after school and they hopped on Daisy and we were off to Starved Rock.
Mark was busy all afternoon finishing up getting Daisy ready to tow Toad (1st time with my new car).     We arrived at our Campsite #111 at 5:10.   This is our first time here and what a pretty park with "No Vacancy" signs  - packed to the gills tonight.    The boys loved hiking and hit some trails, ran downhill, and just enjoyed being out with nature - Boys will be Boys!!!    
 Grandpa built a nice fire.
Unfortunately the sunshine didn't last too long.....really clouded up this afternoon, very windy and chilly.    Almost looked like it could snow!!!!!
The boys found a new friend, Reid from Chicago and they played catch with hedge apples.
After supper, we roasted s'mores.and had popcorn.
Off to Grandparents Day
Campground fun in the woods
Grandpa and the Goobers
Nothing like a roaring campfire
We should all sleep good tonight!