Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Jeep troubles lead to a new car for George.

I just realized that I never posted about the adventures behind George getting a new car. Jacob has his Jeep down in NC using it while George was in training and we were going to go get it back for him to take to his new duty station, Ft. Riley, KS. Unfortunately, when Jacob went home the last time he had visited it started acting up when he got within about an hr. from Ft. Bragg. (now keep in mind before he came home on that trip he had to get a new alternator and battery). Well, it started making some strange noises in the front wheel area and he stopped and called us....his dad just told him to drive slower and try to get back to the base and take it in the next day. Well, he made it to the base, but then it started having problems when he tried to back up. It took him a few days to get it to Sears and when he described the problem they said it was possibly transmission and to take it to elsewhere as they did not do that, so he took it to Aamco. Turned out the front wheel hub assembly was bad (lucky it didn't fall apart on him as it was broke). Thank goodness he had just gotten his bonus, so he had the money to get that repaired, BUT it would not be done in time for George to take it to KS. Well, we contemplated letting him take my Explorer and I would then get the Jeep later from Jacob to use until we could go visit him and swap. But he decided to go car shopping and found a great deal on a 2008 Ford Focus 4-dr. with all the bells and whistles on it. After some fanagling to get them to finance him (his credit is lousy), he was able to get a good deal and get the Focus. He closed the deal on Fri. and he picked it up on Sunday, packed up and left. He had to meet up with a friend, that was also going to Ft. Riley and they were following each other out there, so they met up at George's girlfriend, Lyssa's home in Philly on Sun. and left on Mon., 6/8 as they had to report on 6/9. The trip went well and they got there around 5pm on Tues. Here are some pictures of his new Focus (next to Harold's 2000 Focus). It worked out and now Jacob has the Jeep to use until he deploys the end of Aug./Sept. and they it will come here until George can either get it or decides to sell it.
George in his new car (2008 Ford Focus)
Jacob in the Jeep (5/25 - the day he went back and it started having the problems)

More Flowers Blooming

More flowers in my garden are blooming, all this rain has really made a lot of my perrenials go to town this year. I've been amazed at how large they are this year and how many blooms I am getting. Now my little garden in the back is really, really in need of some serious weeding, but without Jacob here to help me anymore, it is getting harder and harder for me to do and I just simply haven't had the time and when I do I don't have the desire - its a vicious circle! Anyway, here are some pictures of my garden - the yellow and orange ones are my favorite, but I can't remember what they are called.

Red Hot Poker

The Red Hot Pokers are my favorite - I wished they bloomed for a longer period of time. I think the plants that are around the bird bath are my Black-eyed Lazy Susans...they started coming back last year after a year of no-show and Jacob and I transplanted them around the birdbath and they are making another appearance. They never bloomed last year, so hopefully they will this year and confirm that that is what they are.The pictures below are actually from the front yard.
These are some daisies on the right of the front porch steps, also lots of the spider grass there. I think some of the Gerber Daisies I planted behind the purple cone flowers are coming back up, but they aren't blooming yet. I may have to move them to in front of the cone flowers as they have gotten so large this year they are blocking the sunlight to everything else on the other side of them. Check the "My Flowers after the hail storm" post for a picture of the front garden area, these are in the bed below the orange lillies - they just weren't blooming yet.

Only one lonely red flower on my Canna Lillies so far, but once they start it isn't long before the are full of them. These are also on the right of the front porch along with the purple cone flowers.

These are my purple cone flowers(Echinacea). I just planted them last year and they only got maybe 1-1/2' tall last year, but are huge this year with lots and lots of buds - I am soooo happy! Now you have to realize the reason I am so happy is that I really do not have a green thumb - most things just die on me.

Now I know this isn't a flower and it wasn't taken today, but it was such a beautiful sunset on 6/9/09 with a partial rainbow (can you see it in the middle) that I just had to share it.

A Day with Good Friends and then A Day with Family

Saturday was another busy day. Margarethe and I took a quick drive out to Dahlgren for our friend Anna's 50th Birthday BBQ Bash.

Margarethe & Anna
Anna & her grandson, Benjanin
Margarethe & Benjanin
We had to leave the party early as we had a previously planned dinner date with Mary and Gayle at Famous Dave's BBQ. Had a great time seeing them again. We rarely get the two of them available at the same time, due to travel. Gayle and Carl are usually away on pleasure on the weekends and Mary has been on a lot of business travel overseas here lately. Maragarethe has been on a lot of business travel as well, but hers is usually Mon. - Fri., so she is home on the weekends.
Jacob is home this weekend and until today, I really hadn't had a chance to see him. So today we (him, DH and I) went to the movies to see "UP! It was really good, we thoroughly enjoyed it. Then Jacob wanted to go to Sakura's Jap. Steakhouse for dinner (they went to Carlos O'Kelly's last night without me ;-( ), but since I love Sakura's too, I forgave them. Jacob will head back to NC tomorrow afternoon. He hasn't decided if he will come home for the 4th of July or stay in NC and go somewhere with friends down there.

Jewelry Class

Friday was a busy day. We just had Verizon Fios hooked up last Sat. for our computer, phone, and TV, so I had to take the controllers and such back to Comcast and cancel our service with them, finally made it there on Thurs. and found out I had forgotten about the internet modem, so I had to take that back on Fri., got our closing bill amount and paid it off (less than the bill I had that was due, so that worked out great). I then had to pick a check up from Margarethe's house and deposit it for her Stampin' Up! order, buy the time I got that all done, there was no way I was going to make it up to Woodbridge (about 45min. away) for lunch, so I stopped and got a Slaw dog at a new little restaurant next to the new credit union branch, ate and then headed on up to meet with some of my Red Hat Scarlet Sophisticate girls for Canasta. Afterwards, some of us headed out to dinner at Moe's Southwestern Grill for dinner and then to Caleb's Lighthouse Bead Store for a jewelry Class. Below is the watch I made. We had a choice of this watch, a double strand bracelet or 1 of 2 single strand bracelets. We all made this watch, but we changed out the dull red beads they had given us for some shinier ones - since we are all about the shiny bling! Joanne decided to make the band of hers as a single strand using the Swarovski Crystals and the red hearts and silver spacers from one of the single strand bracelets. Wish I had gotten a picture of it as it came out really nice. (I will try to get one when she wears it and add it to this post)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Flowers after the hail storm

The last 2 nights we have had some really bad thunderstorms and lost power Tuesday night from about 10pm until about 4 am. Then last night some hail was thrown into the mix. Now I know it is not as large as some of you have seen, but we don't get hail very often here and this was the largest in quite some time. This first picture shows it coming down, you can see the impacts (especially on lower right of the pic).

This was not even one of the larger pieces that fell, plus it had melted a little by the time I got it.
My lillies were gorgeous and full when we returned on Mon. night, but now they are battered, they still look full, but close up you can see the damage to them from the hail. The big busy plant on the right is my Purple Cone flower. It is about to start blooming, luckily it was not damaged. We are suppose to get another storm tonight, hopefully it won't hail again.

This is Jacob's Tea Rose bush. It was loaded down with blooms and the hail and rain gave it a pretty good beatdown as well, but it still looks beautiful. I need to get out there and pull some more weeds...all this rain has helped them to go crazy.

This is not mine, it is actually over the fence in my neighbor, Alice's yard. I just thought it was sooo pretty that I had to take a picture of it to share.

More Flowers and Scenery

On our way home we took the northern route thru Ohip, West VA, Penn., and Maryland. These were taken at the Youghiogheny Overlook Welcome Center in Maryland. I just had to share as it was sooo beautiful.
Youghiogheny Overlook

Azalea with bee

Not sure what type of flowering bush this is, but I thought the flowers were pretty. It was just covered with them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Visit with Roxie, Ken & Jake

We had a GREAT time visiting Roxie, Ken & Jake. It was wonderful having them come down for George's graduation and I was so glad we could take the time to go up and visit them some more after that.

They took us out sightseeing on Sunday. Our first stop was the Indianapolis Speedway and as a surprise - we got to take a guided bus ride around the track. We got lucky and caught the last bus, as they were taking all the busses off for the rest of the day for a fundraiser "Ride for Riley (Hospital)". 10,000 motorcyclists had signed up to take a ride around the track on their bikes, so we got to see that afterwards as the track goes around the musuem that we toured after our bus ride. Here are some pictures taken from the bus and then of the motorcycles.

The Speedway was the brainchild of Carl Fisher and with the help of several others he created it for auto companies to test their vehicles. It opened in 1909, but the first Indy 500 wasn't held until 1911. He owned it from 1909 until 1927, when he sold it to Captain Eddie Rickenbacker (WWI flying "ace" and had also been an Indy 500 driver). He owned it until 1945, after that I can't remember anything. I do remember that the track was originally dirt and gravel, but that it was so uneven that it was quickly redone with brick by the end of the year and thus obtained the name "The Brickyard".

That is Harold, Roxie, Jake and Ken walking up to the museum.
This is the only section of the original brick track left and is at the starting line.
Jake really enjoyed the bus ride.
The lead motorcycle is driven by the Govenor of Indiana. This one was taken with my regular lens...the one below was taken with my high power lens. I love my new camera.
This was my favorite vehicle - I just thought it was neat looking - and it was huge compared to the others. Roxie & Ken liked the name of it, of course (below). It was tested at Indy Brickyard in 1938 and then was driven by Ab Jenkins (also one of the designers) in 1940 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and set 49 world records for land speed and endurance, 12 of which still stand today.
After the Speedway, we headed downtown to see the sites and have some lunch at Jimmy John's - very good sandwiches.
This was a monument to all the Indiana Veterans from different wars. It was beautiful.
Then they took us to walk along the canal. It was beautiful. The first picture was heading the opposite direction from what we went and took you to the USS Indiana.
The first thing we saw was this painting under one of the walkways of the USS Indiana.
This is the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial along the walk.
This is the Indiana State Museum, which Harold, Roxie and Jake toured after the walk. I was sore from walking so I waited in the cafeteria and relaxed with a cool beverage. Ken had to go back along the walk as he had lost his glasses and was hoping they fell out of his pocket and he would find them. No luck.
This is looking back where we came from (see the Memorial on the right, the Museum is on the other side of the canal from where this was taken.
Just a little further and we rounded a corner to this view, we walked to the overpass and then to the right where we stopped in front of the Hall of Champions (Basketball) and the NCAA Headquarters.
This is where our walk ended and then we went back over the overpass picture in the pic before this and went to the museum.
Here is a mother duck and her little ducklings that were in this pond.
While we weren't sure what this was suppose to be, Jake and I just had to take a picture with it. The bench is between the pond and the NCAA Headquarters and the Hall of Champions.
I was very proud of myself for completing the walk, although we did not walk back, Harold and Ken went and got the car and picked Risa, Jake and I at the museum.
After we returned to the apartment, Ken, Jake and Harold went for a short walk along the trail that Ken walks on regularly (and loves to find snakes). They did not see any snakes this time, but a mother duck and her larger ducklings were there and Harold got this picture of them.
One last picture with Roxie and Jake before we left on Monday.