Archive for July, 2007


Adventurous Hike

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Driving north, we spent out first night on the road in Hayward, Wisconsin. We loved the Comfort Suites there with its resort atmosphere, comfortable rooms and location on the lake.

Tuesday morning we drove north to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. We did not have time to take a ferry to one of the islands so we opted for a hike. The Lakeshore Trail, runs along the mainland and past the cliffs above the mainland sea caves.

It wasn’t our best planned hike. The trail was wet and muddy, creating many water logged areas along the trail. I was wearing less than ideal shoes. The trail also had many stream crossing, including bridges – one aspect that particularly bothered Jackie. All these things led to a less than perfect hike. Jennifer did well until the return trip when she slipped, lost her shoe in the mud and had to walk back with muddy and wet shoes and socks.


The views, though, were lovely. Our final destination, the sea caves, gave us the opportunity to watch the waves crash into the caves.


June 19


Old Wisconsin

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Date: Monday morning. And we were headed on the road.

Destination: Our cabin in Minnesota.

Route: Indirect through Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota
Knowing my children enjoy history and especially any historical reenactments, we ventured north to Old World Wisconsin, a recreated world in which farmers, tradesmen and shopkeepers lead their lives in the same way of 19th century Wisconsin settlers.

In 9 areas we discovered buildings, people and the life of early Wisconsin settlers from German, Polish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian, Yankee America and African-American backgrounds. A village includes an inn, shoe shop, blacksmith ship, church and general store.

Since it was a slow day, we received lots of attention. “Settlers” in many of the areas would tell us a lot about the times and what the settlers were enduring. In the German area, the girls petted a horse. In the Norwegian area, the girls rolled dough to make a pie and in the Finnish area, the girls saw a newborn calf and visited a root cellar.


The most impressive building for us was the building separate from the main house in the Finnish area, the sauna.


We had planned to spend 1-2 hours in Old Wisconsin. Our visit, which wasn’t exhaustive, although it was tiring, took 4 hours.

June 18


What’s Old is What’s New

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

In Chicago Mike’s mom brought out of storage an old toy, Lite Brite. Jennifer and I made several creations together. We used the patterns but were not always delighted with the color choices on the patterns so we changed the designs a bit. It was a fun, relaxing time together.



Illinois Railway Museum

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

On Sunday in Illinois, Mike’s parents drove us to the Illinois Railway Museum. The museum features over 4,000 pieces of railroad equipment. There were many trains on display and a few of trains had internal access. The girls really enjoyed sitting inside the regular and dining cars. In one train, we could climb into the front of the engine where the engineer would have sat. We rode on a 5-mile mainline car from an old North Shore Line. With windows open, we enjoyed the breeze.


We enjoyed the museum but not the 90 degree heat and humidity of Union, Illinois. Due the the heat, Jackie ran out of stream before we finished the whole grounds of the museum. We avoided heat exhaustion due to the wonderful museum provided water misters!

June 17


Father’s Day

Friday, July 13th, 2007

This is Father’s Day

and this is how Mike likes to celebrate.


A Happy Birthday

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

June 16. Our summer family vacation began on my birthday. So, we spent most of the day in airports and on the airplane. Fortunately for me (and Jennifer) and the follies of trying to use frequent flier miles, Jennifer and I ended up sittin in business class. I suppose that makes up for a lot of the travel on my birthday! We enjoyed the cozy seats, the fine meal served with real utensils and plates and the special touches of business class.

When we arrived in Chicago, Mike’s mom had made me a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Yum….


Photo by Kathy Gormish


Welcome to Ethiopia

Thursday, July 12th, 2007


Jennifer’s 2nd grade class studied Ethiopia, Africa for multicultural studies at Orion.

During their multicultural presentation on May 31 they wore sarongs, performed a song with drum accompionment, shared Ethiopian spices and showed several projects that they had made including paper huts, drums and a galimoto, a wire structure. In the classroom they had eaten a traditional Ethiopian stew but they had cut up mangos to taste for the presentation. The room was also decorated with an African mural, Ethiopian clothing, African art, flags, and a topigraphical map. They had also written a report on an animal in Africa. Jennifer chose the baboon.

As a special trip, Jennifer and I joined her teacher and her friend, Sofia, and Sofia’s family for dinner at Zeni, an Ethiopian restaurant in San Jose. We sat on stools around a table with a basket on top. The food was community style with two large plates of various foods including various Wots.


Girl Scout Trips

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

With a our cookie profits, we embarked on two Girl Scout field trips with the Brownie troop.

May 26. First, we hiked on Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve. We ate lunch afterwards, using reuseable plates, cups, etc. It was a no trash lunch. We talked about the concept of a no-trash lunch. I showed two lunches (one which is no trash and one that is full of all that prepackaged stuff) so they can see the difference. We ate with plastic plates and cups – no paper here!


June 3. Our second trip was to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. We toured the museum and particpated in a program called “What is Wild?” The wildlife museum tapped into this troop’s love of animals.



Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

I had become a debte: When do we get a new car? Our two current cars were running fine but were about the same age. We didn’t want to have to replace two cars at the same time.

The debate came to a halt when some friends needed a new car – we offered our Toyota, which they liked and agreed to buy. Now, we were in need of a new car.

We wanted a more environmentally friendly car so we decided to get a hybrid. Jackie, who normally hates when we get something new, was thrilled. She wanted use to have a hybrid. Jennifer was a little tougher to convince…until she saw the blue car. The color changed her attitude.

In less than a week, we chose and purchased a Honda Civic Hybrid in Magnetic Pearl…a dark blue. We love our little car!



Avast Ye!

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Spring Girl Scout Camporee featured a pirate theme. The girls took part in several pirate activities including creating treasue maps and treasure chests, participating in a scavenger hunt, cooking banana boats and dancing a jig.

Another activity involved teamwork. The girls stood on two long wood planks, one foot on each, in a line. They were to life one plank, move it forward, then put the plank down all at the same time. It was a very hard thing for the girls to do. It required lots of coordination and cooperation.