Happy Mother’s Day

Actually, my Mother’s Day was all weekend.  I started on Saturday by sleeping in.  Rich got up with Sascha to put her out, but that was just his excuse to go fishing.  It was a beautiful morning and he had made bait the night before.  He was ready for this.

I woke up to no dog or no Rich. I knew right away that he finally got out there on the banks of the mighty Fox River to try his luck.  That was fine.  It meant a quiet morning for me.  I got my coffee and headed to the couch to read the paper in peace.  I did check on Sascha, but she was totally ignoring in case I wanted her to come in.

Today, I was getting my Mother’s Day flowers for the deck and patio.  This is what I ask for every year.  It’s simple and it’s something I truly want.  I rousted Rick from his bed to go and be my labor for the day.  This meant I had to feed him breakfast.  Oh wait, he is a working stiff as of Monday, so he took me to breakfast.  We went out to Island Café.  As soon as we stepped in the door, Rachel looks around and asks where he is.  Who?  Oh yeah, Rich.  I assured her he was doing something else and it would just be two.  Throughout breakfast, everyone asked where Rich was.  I didn’t realize he was so popular.

Then it was off to Castle Gardens to pick out my flowers for the year.  I had been planning for this and had decided on the flowers I wanted.  On the road just past the Volo Auto Museum, the fire department had the road shut down.  The Gardens were just on the other side.  This meant that we had to snake through the roads in the tiny town of Volo.  The fire appeared to be a field right next to the nursery.

Once we go there and got a wagon, we headed up the hill to the annuals.  I said I wasn’t going to wonder around, but I lied apparently.  I walked up and down the rows looking at the colors.  Finally, I did settle on purple and yellow jump ups, purple and white alyssum, white snapdragons, red and yellow snapdragons, and purple variegated petunias.  I wanted some other things, but decided to wait on those.

It was back to the house.  Rich was just getting back from fishing with his prize.  It was one lonely, rather large carp.  He had a story to go with it.  Apparently, he caught the fish after it took his bite and was trying to make its escape.  It was a good sized fish.  So we left Rich with his carp since my running wasn’t over.

I still had to go to the grocery store for the week’s load of good eats.  Rick went with me.  I like the company and the help.  He had ulterior motives though.  As I said, Rick is starting work on Monday and he wanted to pick up some things for lunches next week.  I saw the dollar signs stretching out in a straight line and the pinch on my wallet.

The grocery store was nuts!  Who knew that Mother’s Day weekend was the biggest holiday of the year.  It was worse than Christmas and Super bowl.  I think it was because the weather was going to be so gorgeous and people were planning to grill out.  You don’t always get that at Mother’s Day in the Midwest.

Finally back home, Rich was done carving up the carp for dinner.  There were fish scales all over the yard.  We unloaded the groceries and put everything away.  Now it was time for me to get busy with those gorgeous flowers.  Dinner was a couple of hours off.  I might just get this done.

I have the flower boxes on the deck to fill along with three pots that I keep up there for more color.  The sun was warm and the wind was nice.  I worked around first to remove the old and dead leftovers from last summer.  Then I arranged my flowers in order along the top of the seats.  After that, it was all fun and dirt.  I finished up in good time.  That left the pots along the patio.  I arranged what I had left to decide the best coverage.  They came out with a very stunning look.  I was very pleased with my work.

That was enough for the evening.  Rich started up the burner and we prepared dinner.  Rich was going to fry up a mess of hushpuppies before doing the fish.  I found a recipe and started creating.  The mix was easy and tasted good before they went into the fryer.  But they were so much better after they came out.  A variation of fried dough is always good.  Even the crispies were delicious.  Dinner was excellent.  Nothing like getting the food yourself.

I’m not obsessed with finding out as much as possible about the next connections that I’ve made in the Zurek family tree.  Through more records, I’m finally able to identify Joseph Zurek, Rich’s great-grandfather, in the records and correlate his claimed hometown in Poland.  Rudy Rysie seems like an interesting name.  I found it on the map of Poland. It is about where I thought it might be, between Krakow and Tarnow.  The village is still there.  I can open a street view through Google.  It’s cute and reminds me of many German villages.

I tried looking through some Polish genealogy sites.  I don’t find much, but not being able to read Polish kind of hurts my efforts also.  I just need to find the church records for this part of Poland.  I see a Joseph Zurek, but he is three years too young.  The mother’s name is right though.

I did manage to find the immigration record where Joseph Zurek from Rudy Rysie, Poland came through Ellis Island.  He came from Bremen, Germany to New York.  It shows that his mother was Marya.  Now I at least have one parents’ name.  I had found a Civil Registration card for what would have been the Selective Service around the time of WWI for Joe.  I have a general description of him.  This also listed his hometown as Rudy Rysie.

See, I can get really obsessed with this stuff.  But it’s 9:00 by this time.  I had asked Rich to make me up a mint julep.  We had plenty of mix left from the party.  I just need the ice to melt into the mix a little before I can drink it.  Rick wants to try a taste.  He doesn’t really like bourbon, but he thinks it’s pretty good.  We settle in to watch an episode of “Father Brown.”  I like English detective shows and this one is quirky and cute.  Apparently, it was an inspiration for Agatha Christie as well.

The night is pretty over by now.  We watch a couple of other things and I start to think about ready.  I’m finishing up an Agatha Christie tonight and moving on to the next book.  Sascha has only been nagging us to go to bed since 8:00, as usual.

That takes us to Sunday morning now.  I get up first and handle the dog duties, which includes grabbing the Sunday paper.  Coffee gets made to help me wake up and to enjoy while reading the paper.  Sascha decides to stay outside since it is so nice.  Pretty soon, Rich gets up and heads for coffee.  Rick finally gets up.  After making it through the comics, he heads to kitchen to make breakfast.  We have Sascha’s favorite, corned beef hash and eggs.  Maybe that’s because she does expect to get a share in her bowl.

Rich and I decide to head out and get some supplies to work in the yard.  The winter was hard on the roses.  Rich lost a couple.  I want to get herbs to grow this year as well as tomatoes to add to the garden.  We head to Ace first, but we just don’t find what we want.  Over at Home Depot, it’s crazy.  We do find everything we want.  After loading up, we head for home.

I start working on the flower bed off the patio.  I’m putting my tomatoes and herbs in this bed for the summer.  I’m just hoping Sascha stays out of it.  She loves to dig when the soil is loose.  I find I have room for more herbs.  I just need to figure out what I can add.

Rich is around front digging up the dead roses and replanting with the new ones.  He sees that not all of the dead ones are totally devastated.  Problem is, will they really survive?  Better safe than sorry and just put in the new roses.  The new roses are grandifloras.  These are really huge blooms.  They should add to the bed with the rest of the roses.  Then it’s time to put down the Moo-Nure.  I love the name.  The picture of the cow on the front is cute.

I get the patio bed finished and move on to the garden on the side of the house.  The garlic mustard plants are taking over.  And they smell to high heaven when you disturb them.  Well, they have to come out.  They are right in the way of planting my other flowers.  Here I’m doing some seeds and bulbs.  I plant zinnias for Rich.  I have Bachelor Buttons and Anemones for the fence.  I have to find a spot for my Dahlias.  Unfortunately, I’m finding so many of my plants didn’t survive.  The daisies are gone.  So I clean out the bed and put the Dahlias there.  My butterfly bush looks like it is dead.  I have to start all over again!

While I’m working, Rich comes around to dig up two of the roses that survived along that side of that house.  He moves to the front where I have some space for them.  More of that Moo-Nure goes in and the smell is a little overpowering.  But I guess it’s not as bad as the grass in the compost pile.  It really smells this year.

I convince Rick to come out and burn all of the wood, sticks, and other burnables.  The pile is huge and it is threatening to keep growing.  He agrees and gets the whole thing going.  It burns really fast.  I guess the amount of rot is pretty good.  Before you know, Rick announces he is done and heading back in to his computer.  Really?  It’s a beautiful day out here.

Did I speak too soon?  After dinner the clouds start to thickening and rain looks like it is moving in.  Sascha must hear thunder from a long way away.   She cowers under Rich’s desk.  The lightning and thunder start up pretty good.  Rick attempts to get the trash out before the rain and doesn’t make it.  The garbage can is out, but the recycling will have to wait.  It pours down.  I go out to the garage to watch the storm with Rick.  We see some hail, but not much.  Then the second wave comes in.  This time the hail is pea-sized and quite a bit of it.  The storm finally passes and the sun comes back out.

For one final Mother’s Day taste, Rich is making rhubarb upside down cake.  I saw this in the morning paper and it sounded good.  Rich wants to do something with his rhubarb.  It sounded like a good thing to try.  We’ll see when it comes out of the oven and cools off a bit.

So tomorrow is back to the grind.  Rick starts up his job in the bay preparing the hardware for the engineers to stage systems.  The weather sound like spring:  a little warm with showers.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and role models for us all.

One of the deck boxes with the flowers planted.
One of the deck boxes with the flowers planted.
I love the smell of the alyssum while sitting on the deck.
I love the smell of the alyssum while sitting on the deck.
Snapdragons, jump ups, and alyssum on deck.
Snapdragons, jump ups, and alyssum on deck.
My bleeding heart by the hot tub survived and was blooming this weekend.
My bleeding heart by the hot tub survived and was blooming this weekend.
The pots on the patio with their color.
The pots on the patio with their color.
There's the carp that Rich caught on Saturday morning.
There’s the carp that Rich caught on Saturday morning.
That's an ugly face.
That’s an ugly face.
Sascha always gets excited when there is fish to fillet.
Sascha always gets excited when there is fish to fillet.


Getting the oil up to temperature.
Getting the oil up to temperature.
And the hushpuppies go into the grease.
And the hushpuppies go into the grease.
Rich pulling the golden hushpuppies out of the fryer.
Rich pulling the golden hushpuppies out of the fryer.
Rich preparing the carp for the fryer.
Rich preparing the carp for the fryer.
Fish fry is ready.
Fish fry is ready.
Sascha is trying to be patient for dinner.
Sascha is trying to be patient for dinner.
Rick was learning to drive Sally on Saturday.  He didn't kill it once.
Rick was learning to drive Sally on Saturday. He didn’t kill it once.
















Sally moves into her new home

Things are finally getting somewhat completed in the new garage.  The guys have been working on some finishing touches. There is still work to be done, but it won’t prevent Sally from moving in.

Rich put in filler so that the cracks in the concrete are filled.  This means that dropped bolts, screws, and other bits won’t find there way in and be next to impossible to remove.  Strong magnets don’t always do the trick.  This way, you don’t have to deal with the problem.

Rich decided on the shelving system that he wanted.  He put up the shelves to provide storage for parts and car related items.  Right now, they are scattered between the workshop and the regular garage.  This will allow him to consolidate the mess into one place and keep tabs on what he has.  Now he just needs to get the remainder of the stuff from the South Haven house.

Oh yeah, that should clear up some room for us to rearrange things in the attached garage.  Of course, I can’t collect more stuff.  But now, I might be able to better organize what I have so I can get to things and maybe see what I have.

Rick painted the man door.  I was trying to get a color to match the green of the light that hangs over that door.  It started that dark, but I don’t think it ended up that way.  It is a nice green though.  Now I have to get Rick to paint the other entry doors on the house that color.  I’m hoping it adds some splash to the house with all the tan.

Rich took Rose on a tour of the garage while she was in.  She said it looked a lot bigger in person than it did in the pictures.  It might be easier to tell size once Sally rolls in over there and makes that her final home.  It’ll just be nice not to have the smell and smoke in the house.  Of course, I may never see Rich again once he starts working over there.

I had wanted to buy Rich a nice rolling toolbox for that garage.  Man, are they expensive!  I explained what I wanted.  He said he was good with a used one.  He had some specifics in mind for a toolbox.  We started looking and came on one in a Craigslist ad.  It was just over in Crystal Lake, which is down the road.  The price wasn’t too bad. Rich met up with the guy and decided it fit his need in the garage.  He and Rick brought it back with them.  It has way more drawers than the models I could afford.  It had some issues on its condition, but not too bad.  Rich put in and fixed them right away.  I think he is anxious to start building his tool set for out there.  Now, he can take the toolbox to the car and put things back as he works with them.

I discovered that I’m not able to move my landscaping tools over there.  Rich says the lawn mowers aren’t kept clean enough.  Clean?  What’s that?  I guess I’m stuck with them over in the other garage.  Sure was looking forward to a little bit room over there.  Maybe as winter storage.

Sascha has stopped thinking of it as her doghouse.  I think that’s because the doors are closed now.  She can’t just walk in and out as she pleases.  That and the echo bothers her.  Once it starts filling up, I’m sure the echo will start to die down.  Sounds cool when you are out there hooting and hollering though.

Rich finally has a garage that’s all his and Sally has a home.

Lots of storage for those car parts and car related items.  Oh yeah, and BBQ related items, too.
Lots of storage for those car parts and car related items. Oh yeah, and BBQ related items, too.
Empty now, but it will fill up fast.
Empty now, but it will fill up fast.
Rolled out the mat to protect the floor.  Sally is an old girl after all.
Rolled out the mat to protect the floor. Sally is an old girl after all.
Bottom part of the chest was getting some touch ups.
Bottom part of the chest was getting some touch ups.
Middle piece of the toolchest waiting for assembly.
Middle piece of the toolchest waiting for assembly.
Almost like new.  This is the toolchest Rich got from Craigslist.
Almost like new. This is the toolchest Rich got from Craigslist.
Rick finished painting the side entry door.  Now I need the other three on the house painted the same color.
Rick finished painting the side entry door. Now I need the other three on the house painted the same color.
No more room at the inn.  Rich is filling in the garage.  I guess no roonm for my stuff.
No more room at the inn. Rich is filling in the garage. I guess no roonm for my stuff.
Sally has officially moved in.  Now I can move back into the main garage. Yes!
Sally has officially moved in. Now I can move back into the main garage. Yes!















Work on the interior of the garage begins

Now that the garage is up, it’s time to work on finishing it off.  Rick is my undocumented slave.  That and the fact that he really needs to work on his skills for when he owns a home.  Rich has a lot of techniques and experience to share.  I figure they might as well as work on this together and do a little knowledge transfer.

The first task is to insulate the garage.  Rich wants to do the ceiling and seal off the ends as much as possible.  That’s Rick’s first task.  While he was off on break, they got started.  However, it is going a lot slower than I thought it might.  Last week, Rick went back to class and is working the insulation job around classes and homework.  Right now, Rick has almost completed the ceiling.  I’m hoping that is done by the end of this week.  Then they can start on the wall.

Once the insulation is completed, Rich is thinking ahead to the dry wall.  It might be easier to get that hired out and done.  Someone working full time can probably complete it in a week or so.  Rich decided to do the electrical work on the outside of the dry wall so that he could make changes as he needs.  We think the code is to do conduit (metal pipe) so it won’t matter what side of the wall its on.

The stove in the kitchen has been acting flaky for a while.  Rich made chicken a couple of weeks ago and it wouldn’t hold the temperature.  It took forever for that darn bird to cook.  If I calculate it correctly, the stove might be 10 years old.  I’m not exactly sure when Dave bought it, but I do know it was part of the remodel.  That took place a couple of years before we bought the house, at least.

Rich and I bought reviewed stoves online trying to pinpoint what we wanted in the way of features.  Funny, we looked at the same features.  We wanted a convection oven, 5 burners with the center being the elongated burner, and stainless steel. I had seen the Frigidaire online and the reviews were really good.

On Saturday, we went out on some errands and stopped by the appliance store to take a long and actually do some hands-on review.  Grand carries several of the top brands and then it is easier to compare.  There was the Frigidaire along with several others stoves.  It had the features I wanted and several more that were a surprise.  After walking around and comparing, it came down the Frigidaire.

Luckily, Rich was feeling generous and agreed to purchase the stove.  Delivery is coming on Tuesday.  That’s great, because I’m home!  They will deliver, hook it up, and haul away the old one.  Can’t argue with that.

I subscribe to Mishka the Talking Husky on YouTube.  This is the cutest Husky and she repeats a lot of words and phrase.  I have to watch another talk because mine is broken.  Sascha barely communicates verbally.  She has subtle actions, but no outright direction.  She only barks when she is frustrated or extremely excited about something.  She barks when she is getting ready to go scooter.

Anyway, Mishka’s owner was showing a new trick that they are attempting to teach their dog.  They took a piece of cheese and get Mishka to twist in the air.  They call it Twist.  Rich thought it looked cool.  He started trying to teach Sascha.  Turns out, she doesn’t really care for the bacon treats.  Most of the time, she flops onto her side rather than twist for the treat.  So Rich bought cheese ends from the deli.  Now Sascha will twist for a cheese treat and almost consistently.  Who knew that Sascha liked cheese that much!  As Rich works with Sascha, we’ll attempt to get video of the progress.

This past week was long.  My PM was in from Colorado.  When Beth makes it into the office, I go in every day.  That tends to take its toll on me.  Sad to say that, but it’s true.  We have meetings and try to do some strategic planning.  Of course, there is lunch every day.  That’s a hard one.  Luckily, I was able to work at home on Friday.  I finally got some work done, but I was so tired from the rest of the week.

I did knock off on time so I could go to bowling with Rich.  Once a month, I go with him and watch while the Motorola league bowls.  I know a lot of the guys, either from work or just from the bowling event.  I like going now.  I have people to catch up with every month.  I think the guys like talking to me.  They do come around my table.  Then we go out to eat afterwards.

This week, Rich wanted to check out a place called Blues Bar.  It’s just a few miles beyond the bowling alley.  Some of the guys from work go out there for lunch.  It’s a BBQ and Beer type of restaurant and club.  They have a lot of microbrews on draft, which is a plus.  The theme is Blues Brothers so there is a lot of memorabilia around.  There are really large screen TVs everywhere for the local team games.

We got in and got seated.  The beer menu was really good. Rich started off with Flying Dog Doggy Style APA.  The waitress served it in a 10 oz glass and it should have been a 16 oz glass.  She brought Rich a free 16 oz version after he completed the first one.  Then he went for the Very Mad Cow Milk Stout from Revolution.  It was so good.  I know because I get to at least taste them, even if I can’t drink a full one.  Someone has to be the DD.

We ordered the rib appetizer plate, brisket, and pulled pork.  The food was really good.  The mac and cheese had onions, bacon, and lots of cheese.  I was impressed with both the drink and the food.  I highly recommend this place to anyone in the Mount Prospect area.  Fun and delicious.


Completed the ceiling over the top of Sally's side of the garage.
Completed the ceiling over the top of Sally’s side of the











Rick climbing the ladder to work on the ceiling.
Rick climbing the ladder to work on the ceiling.
Little bit up close of the ceiling.
Little bit up close of the ceiling.
Work area for cutting and leftovers.
Work area for cutting and leftovers.


Recap of this week (June 17, 2012)

It was another hot one today.  The last few days have been really adding up the heat.  I think it’s Thursday evening now before they say it will be better.  I like summer and the heat, but I’m really getting worried about what July will bring if it’s in the 90s now. 

I did voluntarily go back to work.  Not sure I was ready, but you have to pay the bills.  For that, I work at Motorola.  Everyone seemed glad to see me back.  I jumped in with both feet and tried to pick up where I left off.  Not too much changed and I was able to keep up with the conversations without getting that glazed over look in my eyes.

My intern was still there.  I think she is finding the idea of what we do exciting.  My plan to get her started with some actual writing this week.  Technology hasn’t been too kind to either of us and we’ve been battling just trying to make our computers, emails, and the intranet sites work.  Maybe next week will be better. 

Sascha is back to enjoying her yard and patrolling for squirrels.  One evening, Rich tried to bring her into the house.  He came back and said that he didn’t realize that dogs had a middle finger.  From that comment, I take it Sascha made it very, very clear that she had no interest in coming back in.  There is something grand and majestic about a husky that gives you that look when they want you to go away and leave them alone.  Sascha does it very well.

On Saturday, we met the Streeters’ Car Club to do the bi-monthly trash pick-up on our designated stretch of Bull Valley Rd.  We had way more people than we needed, but the more the merrier.  We had a couple of newcomers join us.  So I got to meet some new people.  We were done in less than an hour.  However, we couldn’t join them for lunch this time.  Rose was coming to visit today.

We got back to the house and Rick had already left to pick up Rose.  Guess it turns out that JP was coming with her.  His plans had changed for the day.  Rich and I showered and changed into clean clothes to meet our guests.  Rick delivered them safely to the house from the train station.

Rose walked into the living room and saw the big red chair.  She immediately had to have her picture with Sascha in the big red chair.  For those who don’t know or don’t remember, Sascha has been pretty well trained to think that the big red chair belongs to her.  If someone sits in that chair, Sascha believes it is OK to sit with them, on them, or around them.  Rose remembered all the photos of us and others with Sascha and had to have her picture also.

Sascha, of course, obliged right away and hopped right into the big red chair.  Since this is her favorite thing, Sascha seems to smile the entire time that she is in the chair.  I snapped a picture for Sascha’s Facebook page, that Rick is constructing to capture the Big Red Chair Moments. 

Rose gets picture with Sascha in the big red chair.












We went out to lunch and then Rich took JP and Rose for a ride in Sally.  That was two trips because you can only take one person at a time.  So JP went for a ride first.  Then I quizzed JP on his new job while Rose took her turn.  I understand technology and what’s going on out, but I don’t really know anyone doing the cool stuff.  Except JP, that is. 

It was getting late and we had to drop the two of them off at the train station for their journey back downtown.  The three of us headed to the outskirts of Chicago for a graduation party.  Donna and Norm had two sons graduating.  David graduated from college and Kevin graduated from high school.  Donna is Rich’s cousin. It was a chance to hang out with family and we meet some of their very nice and interesting friends.

Sunday was Father’s Day.  Rich headed out early to get in some fishing time before the boats hit the river here.  It turns out, you have to get their early before everyone brings their dogs down to swim in the river.   No catches, but Rich had a lot of nibbles.  He thinks they were waiting for the bait to get soft and then they could take without much trouble. 

Rich has been working on a strategy for catching carp.  I guess these are some wise and difficult fish to catch.  They are bottom feeders and it takes a different strategy to get them interested in the bait.  This means that Rich has been developing his own recipe for carp bait as well.  A little messy to make in the kitchen, but the results could be rewarding.

Not playdough; that's carp bait from a secret old country recipe.


Rich spent his Father's Day morning by the river waiting for the fish to bite.













After fishing, Rich and Rick worked on the truck some more.  The air conditioning went out last year. This meant that the warm weather was a little less enjoyable if you had to drive the truck instead of the Honda.  We got it looked at and an estimate for the work.  The guys decided to do it themselves.  It meant some replacement parts, but those came in on Friday.

While the guys were working outside, I was trying to clean up the drifts of Husky hair that had been floating up and down the hallway all week.  That dog can drop some hair.  There might have been enough to two dogs there.  I was vacuuming the bedroom, but coudln’t get Sascha out of under the bed.  I managed to coax her out and put her outside.  After I got done, I went to bring her in.  However, she seemed to be enjoying watching the guys work.  Therefore, I got the majestic death stare and she went back to observing her other humans.  Fine, I can go about my business then.

I finished up inside and went outside to try and reclaim some of my gardens from the wilderness.  My side garden had been hopeless before I left for vacation.  It was an extreme case now.  I mowed the general garden paths with the push mower.  Then I set about to pull the weeds from my daisies.  With that done, I pulled out the weeds from the butterfly garden.  Most of my black-eyed susans had been lost to the weeds.  I might have to replant to get them back. 

Time for dinner.  Rich cooked the steaks while Rick got the mushrooms done along with the baked potatoes.  Adding a salad to the bowls, we dug in.  After working so hard, we were all hungry.  Maybe not me so much.  Over vacation, I had cut down on the amount I was eating.  I hope I can keep that up.  It would be good for the waistline.  Besides that, it meant that Sascha could have some bits of steak.  She seemed to agree and ate it down. 

Now I can relax this evening and get ready for the week to start all over again.  I’m already tired just thinking about it!

Happy 50th Birthday, Rich!

Yesterday, the 10th, was Rich’s 50th birthday.  It was a quiet day.  No big partying here.  He did take the day off from work to enjoy some of his favorite things. 

Early in the morning, his Busia called to wish him a happy birthday.  He wasn’t up yet.  We talked for a bit.  She was reminiscing about the time she took the train down to Roswell, NM from Chicago to see him.  In her stories, there is a lot of dust.  I can see why.  It is a very sandy area and the wind blows a lot.  I loved one of her last statements.  “I was 40 when Rich was born.  I was only a child!”  Compared to her 90 years, she probably was at that time.

Rich didn’t sleep in too late.  After a cup of coffee and the paper, he turned his attentions to getting caught up on the computer.  He had Sally business to take care of this morning.  After checking out Facebook and his email, he pulled up the page he wanted.  I’m not sure of the name of the business, but the guy’s name was Dick.  With phone in hand, Rich proceeded to call Dick.  BTW: Rich uses the name Dick when he is feeling bad ass.  Seems appropriate.

Dick answered the phone and the conversation about carburetors got underway.  Dick is in the business of rebuilding these nice little attachments to an engine at his shop way down in Texas.  Rich finished describing his issues and what kind of little metal components he had.  Dick had a list of specific questions for how Rich wanted them to work when them came back.  I believe there was an agreement and Rich wrote up a letter with the details and boxed up the carbs for a trip to Texas.  Now Sally will be bad ass too.

Next order of business was to take Sascha to Moraine State Park for a run on one of the trails.  Packing up scooter, harness, and dog, Sascha and Rich left in the truck.  No, Rich was driving and not Sascha. An hour and a half later, they returned, just as I was leaving to pick up birthday cake.  Sascha was in the back of the truck and not the cab.  The tail was wagging a hundred miles an hour and she had a big grin on her face.  She was also very wet.

The Opossum Run trail that Rich likes is about 3 miles long.  There are lots of hills and valleys.  There is also a ditch that is usually filled with water.  Sascha remembers this ditch very well.  We’ve made the mistake of letting her get a drink from the ditch, but she always plops down in the water instead.  She loves to lay in her pool of water, wherever it is.  I think Sascha is beginning to learn the trail.  She stopped at the picnic table where I had to take a rest and she got water.  Only Rich wasn’t ready to stop!

Since they had returned early, I took Rich to lunch while I was out on my errand. Herb’s Bakery makes the most divine cakes and they taste like there is so little sugar in them.  I don’t know how they do that.  The cakes are buttery soft, not overly sweet, and they decorate them in such cute ways.  I can’t find anyone else who makes such a cake, so I make the drive several miles to pick one up.  They are so worth it!  I told them to decorate the cake with something beer related.  There were little tin beer cans hanging over the cake.  Well worth the trip again this year.

So we stopped at the Beef Villa just up the street from Herb’s.  Around here, there are hot dog stands by the dozens.  They all serve hot dogs and italian beef sandwiches with fries.  Standing at the counter, the menu was limited, but it did look good.  I decided on the reuben sandwich and Rich got italian beef with cheezy fries.  I don’t know about Rich’s sandwich, but mine was excellent.  It really hit the spot.  So this means I took Rich to lunch and I paid for it.

One more stop before we headed home.  We were going right by Woodman’s Grocery.  There, Rich needed to pick up frozen Door County cherries for his cherry wheat beer that he was expecting to brew within the next few days.  Yep, cherry wheat beer was required for the June pig roast.  Cherries and pig go together, I think.

So I had to get back to work.  Yep, I had worked through Rich’s phone call to Dick and while he was out scootering with Sascha.  Now back to more work.  Rich spent his afternoon hanging out around the house.

Rick got home from school and we sat Rich down on the couch to open cards and presents.  We got him a book called Chicago by the Pint.  It was a history of the great breweries in Chicago.  Then he got real moosehid moccassins to keep his feet warm and dry.  Finally, we got his a flamed bowling shirt and a backup shirt that was just styling red and black.  Now he has a choice when he wants to bowl. 

For dinner, Rich chose Slyce.  This is a really cool pizza place that cooks their pies in coal fired ovens.  The menu has already created combinations, which are excellent.  Then you can create your own, but can you get one better than they have already created.  I’m not so sure.  We got one white and one red.  White was olive oil with fennel sausage, cream, and basil.  The red was meatball, pepperoni, and ham with basil.  Both were excellent. 

Rich likes this place not only for their pizza, but because they carry an excellent assortment of craft beers.  A few are on tap, like he prefers.  He started off with one IPA and finished with a second one from a different brewery.  Since we had a designated driver, I had the Audacious Apriot wheat.  It was a nice dinner out with the family. 

Back at the ranch, we finally fired up that movie, “Paul,” that’s been recorded forever and we never got around to.  I had watched bits and pieces while it was still running on the movie channel, but I had never seen the very beginning.  It was cute and had several good laughs.  Then it was cake time.  We opened up the chocolate with raspberry filling cake, sang Happy Birthday, and ate up. 

Now our habit in the past has been to include the dogs in our lives.  Sofie even learned to sing along with the song.  I’m not sure it was Happy Birthday she was singing, or she was just yelling for you to throw down that cake.  This makes the fourth birthday we’ve had since Sascha has joined us.  And guess what?  She has learned that when we sing Happy Birthday, good things happen.  She danced around with the song.  Next birthday, we’ll have to have video of her dance. 

To finish off the night, Rich got a call from his brother, Alex.  That really helped to make an end to a good day.  He enjoys talking to his family and Alex in particular.  It might that they can talk stocks.  After getting caught up with Alex, he toddled off to bed to read a few chapters before lights out.

I do believe Rich had a great birthday.  I thought turning 50 would be tough for him, but he seems to have weathered it well. Today, I ran out early to pick up donuts for work.  Everyone expects to share in your good fortune.  They seem to like the donuts from our local bakery in particular. 

Happy birthday, Rich.  Hard to believe you survived your youth and are getting ready for some middle age.  Enjoy it though.

Cake from Herb's
The wonderful little cake that Herb's made for Rich.
Chicago by the Pint
Another beer book for his collection.
Moosehide moccassins
Oh, moosehide! New moccassins for the feet.
Bowling shirt with flames
He has flames on Sally and now flames on his bowling shirt!

Time to rewire Sally

The first time I looked under that dash I knew I had to always carry a fire extinguisher. The wiring job was very poor.  The most worrying aspect was the power distribution bolt that was not even taped.  Any way here are some picks of the start of the project.

The wiring harness is from a company called Rebel Wire.  It looks very nice.  All the wires are labeled about where they go.  It has nine circuits prewired and three extra fuses I can add to.  I am also replacing the gauges so the dash is getting rewired.

Remembering Dad

Cleaning off my desk yesterday I found some photos of Dad and Sally from Labor Day of 2002. Today is the day he passed so it was nice to find the photos.

Sally on Labor Day 2002

Dad was really proud of the work he did on Sally.

Rob and Dad going for a ride

Going for a ride smoking a cig.  Dad started young with smoking and never could kick the habit.  Please do not start smoking.  You to may not be able to quit even when they start killing you with the Cancers.

It stopped raining and the sun came out so I think I will take Sally out for a spin.

Rest in peace Dad

Driving Lessons for Rick

Today Rick and I washed Sally.  Afterword we went to a small hamburger joint and had cheese burgers and chocolate malts.  Then I decided it was time for him to learn how to drive stick.  Since I have been driving stick shift cars for most of my life it thought it would be easy for him to pick up.

That being said as I was describing to him how to work the clutch, gas, brakes, and shifter this may not be easy.  He did kill the car a few times and did a lot of jack rabbit starts but eventually was able to get the car moving alright.  He just needs more practice.  At corners the whole turning, signals, clutch, brakes, and gas thing got overwhelming.   Cars are too easy to drive these days.  This is why people think they can do other things besides drive while driving.

I have a second “Girl” putting on mascara story.  I am sure you all hear the first one where I almost got killed by a girl putting on mascara.  The only thing that saved me and the cars behind me was driving into a ditch to avoid her.  Any way Friday morning I was behind a drunk driver I thought until she got out the mascara.  Then he deployed an extra mirror so she could put on the mascara.  Of course her speed control was not good.  One time there was a two car gap between her and the car ahead of her.  So a person in a Mercedes decides to make a left in front of her.  They really stopped on the gas a barely cleared her path.  Of course she did not slow down or brake and I believe she does not even know how close she came to t-boning the left turner.

Anyway girls doing makeup and driving really scare me.

Katrina Story

Yesterday I sold the Sally’s old front tires to a guy named Tim. He hauls cars as a side job. He is from Nashville TN. So I asked him if the flooding this spring affect him. They had a 1000 year flood there. He said no, but then he tells me he is originally from New Orleans and he moved his family to Nashville after Katrina.

He has a 1934 Ford Pickup that was Street Rodded. He wants to put the pickup back to original. It is nice to know that the wheels will be put to use by someone else instead of rusting in my garage. It is also nice to know that I help out a Katrina survivor in a small way.