Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Favorite Time of Year ...

My favorite time of year has begun!! 

We've been so busy - busy - busy ... but we just HAVE TO SQUEEZE in a little festive and seasonal enjoyment.  A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Cedarburg Harvest Festival.  We made it an opportunity to get some nice photos.

Here's Molly trying to teach me how to do a "selfie"!

This past weekend, we made an impromptu visit to the nearby Apple Orchard.  
The kids really enjoyed picking apples.

Then, of course, they just had to make caramel apples!

They were super excited to eat their sugar-loaded apples!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The County Fair, Family Time and Summer's End

This is going to be a loooonnnnngggg photographical post ... you don't mind, do you?  I really will try to post better; these long posts sometimes lose a bit of commentary because there's just too much to cover.  

This last week was a very busy and eventful week. We had A LOT going on in a short amount of time.  Our family got together ... to be together ... to remember our mom/grandma/wife ... to go to the County Fair ...

... where we live, you CAN'T NOT GO TO THE FAIR!!  It is an absolute way of life!  There's no avoiding it ... I mean, ... well, we actually live in the County Seat, WHERE THE FAIR IS AT, ... so, yeah, it's pretty much unavoidable.

Here's my sister acting like a turkey!!

And then we saw some REAL TURKEYS!  
We walked through a building FULL of turkeys and many of them were gobbling!  Growing up, my mother used to always make the "gobble" sound around and on Thanksgiving.  But I had actually never heard a REAL GOBBLER until that day at the fair.  

There were all these turkeys, making the "gobble, gobble, gobble" sound and all I could hear was my mother on Thanksgiving, "GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE!!"  
It made me smile ... and laugh ... and smile some more.

We also saw other animals and enjoyed the various exhibits.  

This 991 pound pumpkin was especially IMPRESSIVE!!!
(I sure would like to see those pumpkin seeds!)

Several of us in the family stopped at the booth that sells the infamous eclairs and cream puffs!  We did this for my mom.  My mom loved to go to the fair, if only to get the eclairs and the cream puffs.
So, ... we ate eclairs in honor of my mom ... 

... and cream puffs too ...

We know how much you loved them, Mom!!

This sister of mine took her chances on the deep fried ALLIGATOR-ON-A-STICK!  Yep, you read correctly ... 
... ahh, tastes like chicken!! 
Doesn't everything??

We went on some fair rides.  Well, actually, this was my only fair ride ... the giant ferris wheel.  That was enough for me!

The kids had a great time going on LOTS of rides ... over and over and over again.

The three younger kids even got to go on a pony ride.

Going to the Fair makes for Happy Faces!

Jonah and Rees really enjoyed the fair.

It was a LONG day and they kept going and going and going ...

... until they just couldn't go any more.

After the Fair, we had more Family Time with some sightseeing and a cook-out and we even celebrated our mom's life with an ice cream cake!

It's a little hard to celebrate ... when we're still feeling the freshness and sadness of our loss, but with us being all together, we just knew we couldn't NOT.

I've been working on a Memorial Garden ... inspired by the loss of my mother.  It's really beginning to take shape.  I have made the garden stones and bricks myself (first time creations but pleased with the results) and and then decorated with large, gaudy creations that my mother would absolutely LOVE.

The Garden is a work-in-progress ... obviously to be an on-going project, especially as we are at the end of the gardening season.  But I am looking forward to searching out and planting just the right items.

On our second to last day of summer vacation, we spontaneously decided to go on a HIKE.  We went to three different locations taking up the whole day.  It was really nice ... good exercise (never mind the ice cream cones we got at one point) ... beautiful scenery ... and enjoyable family time.  

We even brought along our lunch to eat after covering a couple of miles ...

The rest of these photos were taken along a Lakeshore Path that is both breathtaking and adventurous.  It's speckled with houses that are mostly quite extravagant with a few that are more modest.  The sky was a beautiful backdrop to  ...  well, just about everything!  ENJOY!!

One of the homes along the path has a fence-border and along the fence are numerous quotes, bible verses and sayings ... it's a very inspirational spot!

There is a bell nearby with a sign that reads: Ring the bell to make miracles happen!

(And that's it ... nothing medical-related in this post.  Plenty of time for that later ... all is stable at the moment.)