Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Country Ride

Hey, join us for a ride in our corvette. Put on your sweater and bring along a jacket as we head out into the country. This is the time of year where summer is just a memory and the taste of much colder weather looms close at hand.

Fall offers a magnificent display of colors as the trees start preparing for winter. Last night we had a frost making the vibrant colors in the trees quickly fade. The steady winds blow through the tops of the trees making the leaves fall, streaming towards the ground. Tonight offers a bright blue sky, temperatures are cool but not cold, and our desire to squeeze in as many rides as we can get in the convertible before the car goes into storage.

Sit back, put on your seat belt, turn on the car heater, and enjoy the quietness and beauty of the farmlands near where we live. After the ride we will stop along the way and grab a hot bowl of potato cheese soup. Enjoy and thanks for coming along.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Toy

Ameridad purchased a new toy that will decrease the amount of time spent cutting the lawn. A picture is worth a thousand words so here it is.

I think my mowing time will be cut by 100% because I will not be able to get him off of the machine, which might not be such a bad idea. I did get a chance to try out the mower but had some difficulty when I tried to initiate turns. Screaming in fear did not help the mower go where I wanted it to go, definitely felt like the mower was in charge. Didn't Stephen King write a book about this? No, I remember now the story he wrote was about was a car named Christine.

Friday, October 26, 2007

One, Two,Three

Step back to a beautiful fall day, October 9, and enjoy a few minutes with Cara. While playing outside with Mommie, Grandpa A., and me we discovered that our little girl is now counting.

She is growing so fast, picking up new words each day, and is such a delight to be with.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Blustery Day

After watching this video it is easy to see why this time of year is called fall.

This was just one of those fall days that makes being outside most enjoyable. We have lived here for almost nine years and I still cannot believe that this is our backyard.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Head 'em Up-Move 'em Out

Back in time- July 17 & 18 Captain's Log

This is the first day of our family vacation and heading east, our destination being Philadelphia, the four of us settled in for our long drive. We passed the time laughing, sleeping, reading, eating, talking, and taking turns driving. After driving, which seemed to go on forever, we finally arrived in Philadelphia two steps ahead of rush-hour traffic.

Cyndi booked us into a beautiful European-style boutique hotel in the heart of Philadelphia, the Latham Hotel. The hotel was a perfect choice to stay at because it was close to restaurants, shops, theatres, museums, and historical landmarks just minutes away.

Cyndi went inside to check us in, then came back to the van mentioning that there was a slight problem at the hotel today. When checking in she was told at the front desk that the air conditioning for the hotel was out of service and wasn't expected to be fixed until that night or the next day. We were offered two options: (1) Staying at the Latham at a lower rate, or (2) reservations at another hotel could be made and we could stay there. With rush-hour rapidly approaching and not knowing where the other hotel might be, we decided to stay at the Latham. After all, three out of the four of us grew up not having air conditioning and figured one night wouldn't be a problem. Oh how wrong we all were! The windows in our rooms opened but only let in not cooler fresh night air but hot, humid, stuffy air, and street noise. The temperature of our room that night was 86 degrees; poor Cyndi and Danilo's room was even hotter. They called down to the front desk, requesting a room change, in the wee hours of the morning when the temperature in their room reached up into the mid 90's. Their request was granted and they spent the rest of the night in a room with a much cooler temperature -- in the mid 80's. I always have said that everything in life is a learning experience: lesson learned.

We all meet in the morning for breakfast and shared with each other our horror stories of last night's stay in the oven rooms. After having breakfast it was time to head out into the city of brotherly love (not sure why it is called this) and see some sights.

Independence Hall.

Liberty Bell.

The first post office of The United States and the entrance to Franklin's Court.

Quaker Meeting House

Music being played on this antique instrument; the cylinders are made of glass.

Visiting with one of the locals.

This was a nice restaurant we didn't eat at as they stopped serving food five minutes before the hostess directed us to our table. Still trying to figure that out. Looked like a fun place though.

We went on a search for a restaurant that was open and found ourselves at the perfect place. We all ordered -- what else -- a delicious Philly sandwich. This picture is dedicated to Cyndi and her ex-pat friends. I know you can get some of the most delicious foods in Italy but you can't get a sandwich like this. Sometimes you just need some good old junk food.

We saw all of the main historical sites that we had planned on visiting. At the end of day two it was time to pick up the van at the parking garage and start driving to our next destination, DC. Heading out of town, I looked back at the city and, thinking about our visit back in history, knew that I wanted to come back again.

Good bye Philadelphia, see you again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Frank Lloyd Wright House

This post is dedicated to my son-in-law, Danilo, and to those who appreciate architects and the magnificent buildings they design. Danilo has a doctorate degree in architecture and worked in that field for several years before becoming an educator. On July 16th and we started on our road trip, traveling east across Ohio. Danilo asked if we were going by Oberlin as he wanted to stop by the college and check out some of the buildings designed by an arititect he was familiar with. To my surprise, his request did not included a house I knew for sure he wouldn't want to miss, one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Since we were heading right by that exit on the highway, there was no problem in pulling off and heading for the university. Boy, I did have a surprise to tell him about.

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the world's most prominent and influential architects and to this day he remains America's most famous architect and a favorite of Danilo's. Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural career spanned seventy-five years. By the time he died, he had created 1,141 designs, of which 532 were completed. Fifty years after his death, Frank Lloyd Wright continues to be recognized as the greatest architect of the Twentieth Century.

The Weltzheimer/Johnson House, located in Oberlin, Ohio, is a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House designed in 1948 and completed in 1950. It sits well back from the street on a three-acre lot. While the home was being built, design changes and problems increased the budget from $15,000 to over $50,000. This was the first of nine Usonian homes to be built in Ohio and has all of the typical features of the Usonian style: a flowing floor plan with distinct public and private wings; concrete, grid patterned slab floor with radiant heat; flat roof and cantilevered carport; masonry fireplace; board and batten walls with simple built-in furniture; and tall glass walls; and doors opening to the landscape.

The Weltzheimer/Johnson House has several distinctive features, including the hundreds of stained croquet balls forming the roof. It is the only Usonian built outside California that used redwood in its construction.

The Weltzheimer family lived in the house until 1963, when the property was sold to developers. In 1968, Art History Professor Ellen H. Johnson purchased the home and began restoring the house. When she died in 1992 the house was given to Oberlin College to serve as a guest house for the Art Department and the Allen Memorial Art Museum.

Knowing that the house was open to the public, we stopped a local person and asked for directions. The smiles on our faces soon faded as we were told that the house was closed today as tours were not given on Mondays. She did suggest that we drive over and we could walk around outside and peek in the windows. This news was little disappointing, OK really disappointing--so close and yet so far--but we decided that if we couldn't get inside we would settle for a walk around the property, and headed to the house. I let everyone out at the street and we were all awed as we looked at the beautiful house positioned at the back of the lot. I drove the van around the block and parked in the driveway and waited for the gang to catch up to me.

While parking in the driveway I noticed that a car was there and wondered if I was at the right place or sitting in someone's private driveway. A short time passed and I saw my three traveling buddies walking up toward the house. With big smiles on our faces we stood outside of the house and started taking pictures. After taking pictures outside and walking around awhile I decided to knock on the door, thinking that the owner of the parked car might be inside. As luck would have it the curator was inside showing the house to a man from Texas who had scheduled this visit with the curator. She graciously invited us in! We put special coverings over our shoes to protect the floors and were invited to have free run of the house, taking pictures of anything we wanted, visiting all rooms, and when we were done, she said, she would answer any questions we might have. It doesn't get anybetter than this!

The L-shaped home features an open main living/dining area separated from an adjoining kitchen by narrow brick pillars.

Three small bedrooms and a corner studio are accessed from a gallery hallway.

Standing in the hallway leading to the bedrooms.

Sitting in one of the three bedrooms in the house.

Looking into a mirror in the master bedroom; notice the built-in dresser on the wall.

Cyndi and Danilo in the master bedroom.

My family and I want to give a special thank you to Palli Davis, curator of the Weltzheimer/Johnson House in Oberlin, OH, for letting us visit the Frank Lloyd House. Never in a hurry for us to leave, she answered all of our questions and offered information on where we might visit other homes. Knowing we needed to leave this beautiful home, we slowly walked out, hardly believing that the last few hours were spent in a home we didn't think we would get to see. In our appreciation a donation was made by both of our families; this goes to the preservation of the house.

For those who are interested in a visit or would like to make a donation, the Weltzheimer/Johnson House holds a public 'Open House' on the first and third Sundays of each month, from 12 pm until 5 pm. It is closed on major holidays-New Year's Day, Easter, Independence Day, and Christmas.

Admission is $5.00 per person. For further information, program dates, or to schedule a tour, call 1-440.775.5999 or email Palli Davis Holubar (

Visit web site:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Summer Recap

When I left my time travel posts back in August my family had just attended the most beautiful wedding of our youngest niece. I now want to bring our adventures to a close and catch you up-to-date with what we did during the remaining summer.

Our family at the wedding reception.

Cara dancing with Grandpa and the bride

The day after the wedding the bride's parents hosted a Sunday brunch at their home. The weather was perfect and a relaxing day was spent visiting with out-of-town relatives and friends.

Cyndi and Aunt Chris

Great Aunt Chris and Cara.

That evening our family headed to one of our favorite restaurants for my birthday celebration. Cara enjoyed being taller than me and had so much fun tapping the top of my head.

The following day Cyndi, Danilo, Ameridad, and I headed east for a week-long vacation. The last vacation the four of us were on was when we visited Italy two years ago. Danilo was a great travel host and now it was our turn to show him a little of our country and history. Before we left on our trip we met Scott, Emily, and Cara for breakfast.

It was so great to have the family all together and I really enjoyed having so much time with everyone. Scott and his family didn't join us on this trip as they thought the baby might not travel too well, so after breakfast we said our good byes and headed east while they headed southwest.

The next post will be about our first stop on our trip. The first stop was a surprise for our son-in-law, Danilo. I'm pretty sure I scored brownie points with him.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Computer Genius

One of Cara's favorite things to do is look at pictures of babies. She knows that grandpa's computer has a lot of pictures of babies, not too surprisingly they all look like Cara.

While sitting on grandpa's lap checking things out she must have decided that it was time to change the wallpaper on the computer. Without grandpa realising it his settings were changed and a new picture appeared on the computer screen. Somehow Cara managed to hit all of the right keys in the right order changing the settings to make this happen.

Original wallpaper photo, picture taken in Chicago the end of July.

New wallpaper photo, picture taken in Carasburg in September.

Now some of you might think that this was just a random act of hitting keys, but as her grandparents we know that she knew exactly what she was doing. What a smart little girl!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Paw Paw

Grandpa had a couple of day off from work this week so we headed down to spend a few days with Cara and her folks.
With cooler temperatures today Cara, her mother, and I went outside for some playtime. When grandpa came out of the house to join us Cara looked over at him and said paw paw several times as he was walking towards her. Just what every grandpa wants to hear! I think grandpa is still smiling about this.

It is such a delight to watch her grow, explore, and learn new things each day. We are so fortunate that she and her folks are a car ride away from our home and we can visit often. Every time we see her she is doing something new. Wonder what she will be doing new next time we see her?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mam maw

The translation for mam maw is grandmother. That is what Cara called me last Tuesday as I was leaving the house to gas up the van. I didn't hear her say it but both parents were yelling to me saying that she was saying bye baby then said bye mam maw. I went back to Cara to see if she would say it again but that didn't happen until much later in the evening. This time we were heading upstairs for her bath and she called me. I didn't hear the mam but I did hear her say maw.

I am so honored that with four grandparents in her life that I was the first one to be called grandma. I can hardly wait to hear her call me again and also have her call her other grandparents.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Fall Fun

On Tuesday of this week I had the pleasure of heading to the park with Cara and her mommy. This was Cara's first trip to the park, so a lot of exploring was to be done.

When Cara's daddy was on his way home from work, he called on the cell phone and found out that we were heading for the park, so he met us there.

I'm not sure out of the four of us who had the most fun.

To hear more about our visit at the park click on my blog link The Story of Us.