July 2012





Diane spent the July fourth week at the Heartland Health Spa in Gilman, Il.  It’s a great get-a-way spot and she really enjoys it.  I stayed home with Tinker and worked around the house.  We have a bay window off the kitchen dining area and animals like to live under there.  There are chipmunks, rabbits, raccoon, and possum that claim this habitat.  It’s a regular “Grandma’s featherbed”.  Once I hired a trapper.  He was supposed to take the raccoon many miles away but I think he came back.  Must have jumped back in the guys truck when he wasn’t looking. 


       My solution was to use 2” thick sheets of Styrofoam three of them and I sprayed Great Stuff Styrofoam in the cracks between.  Then I put up some plastic gutter guards and anchored them into the ground 6” with strips of bent coat hanger.  So far so good.  I figure it will help insulate too. 


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We have brass knobs in our home.  89 brass knobs.  It takes a couples of days but they need to be polished every three years or so.  I took advantage of being alone to polish brass knobs.  How crazy is that.  I need to find somebody else to do that.


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       Diane came home from the Heartland energized and ready to go.  July 9th we were off on a road trip.  Our goal was to visit friends we know from Florida.  Never say, “Come see us.” to a retired person unless you mean it!  They need stuff to do.  Not really.  Just kidding. 





       Our first stop was beautiful Catawba Island Club nestled on the shores of lake Erie.  We have gone the past several years and always just love it.  It is the “Key West” of the Midwest.  It helps that all of our best friends are there too.  The Sharpnacks, Coles, McAllisters, Hirbes, Pinters, Zecks, Jan Watson, and Krosts all hail from the CIC area.  It is the “Riverbend” of Ohio.    The golf and parties are nonstop.  Always a good time.  Always hate to leave.  Love the golf course and the people. 



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       Bershires.jpg              After Ohio we headed to the Berkshires of western Massachusetts to visit our good friends Kurt and Lynn Weber.  They live on a most beautiful lake, the Otis Reservoir.  Cleanest, clearest water you would ever want to swim in.




       The view is spectacular!  All you want to do is sit and stare at it.  I tried to jump in the water at least once a day.  It was warm while we were there.  Warm days and cool nights with fresh, mountain air makes for perfect weather and sleeping.


Tanglewood.jpg     The night we arrived for our visit, Tanglewood was celebrating their 75th Anniversary with a gala concert.  We took our chairs and table and had dinner on the lawn before the concert.  Lynn prepared quite a feast and we met up with their friends and neighbors.  It was quite an extravagant show that night.  PBS recorded the whole thing and is rebroadcasting it August 10th.  It was a wonderful evening.  Thank you Kurt and Lynn!


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The rest of our stay was just as wonderful.  We played tennis, golf and bridge.  We visited the Norman Rockwell Museum, Jacob’s Pillow, the famous Red Lion Inn, the 9/11 Memorial, New York City and the Edith Wharton homestead.  We covered a lot of ground.  Did I mention the Grouse House?  Be sure to ask about the Demmick Road shortcut.  It will be the ride of your life and very scenic.




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      Our favorite part of the visit was to see Lynn and Kurt.  They are wonderful friends and true ambassadors of the Berkshires.  Thanks again for a wonderful week.


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     Next we headed for Plymouth, Ma. Home to Bill and Jan Raabe.  Bill and Jan are another fun Riverbend couple.  Bill gave us the most wonderful historic tour of Plymouth.  It really is a beautiful setting. 


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They live in Pine Hills which has a lovely setting in the hills and we played in a Member Guest at White Cliffs Country Club.  The course has some of the best scenic views of the waterfront and we had a wonderful day.  Coming in first place was fun too.  It was a great team effort.  Fun.  The boys won at bridge one night too.  The East coast is home to some of the best Lobster and steamers I have ever had. 


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            Lobster.jpg       Steamers were new to me, but the Lobster was a familiar old friend.  Thank you Bill and Jan for a wonderful time!





     Our next stop was the lovely home of Tom and Mary Lou Deehan in Dennis Port, Ma. on Cape Cod.  Tom and I enjoyed a round of golf while the girls did some sightseeing and shopping in historic Chatham.  We played the Dennis Pines course the first day and the Highlands the second day with the girls.  Both are beautiful.  The Deehan hospitality was outstanding to include hot fudge ice cream sundaes.  What a treat.


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Tom kept us laughing for two straight days.  Tinker cornered a raccoon in their backyard.  They also have the most wonderful outdoor shower.  When I think of Tom, horticulture would not be on the top of my list, but their backyard is a garden of paradise.  Tom has multiple water ponds with gold fish and enormous beautiful flower beds.  Bert is the resident frog.  It was great to just sit and enjoy the flowers.  If you ever need a recipe for haddock, call Tom.  He cooked the most wonderful fish on the grill.  It was incredible.  We even made it to the All American Bar and Grill for a quick beer.  The Lobster and steamers were great here too.  We couldn’t ask for better friends.  Try the Lobster roll at the Scargo Café.  You won’t regret it.  Thanks so much for making us feel so welcome.  It was a fitting end to our road trip. 


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