Archive forAugust, 2006

Saturday at the Festival

It’s been muggy and threatening all day, but at 2:10 p.m. it’s not raining, and we’re hoping that it’ll hold off. Workshops are large. I took a ukulele one that had 39 students! Margaret Loper has really arranged a bang-up line-up of talented instructors.

We miss some of our “regulars”: Jim Rathbun, Linda Foley, Dotty Decker, Judith Lindenau, are among the missing, but we have lots of new folks and it’s definitely a successful event!

Tonight I will be emceeing the Stage Show so I’ve been practicing up a couple jokes that I can use as fill-in if needed.

It’s a fun festival. John and Margaret should be proud.

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Great Attendance!

We’re at the Midland Dulcimer Festival. We arrived yesterday morning. It’s been busy and hectic. John and Margaret (co-chairs) are over-worked as usual. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned. The water coolers were late being delivered, the weather has been rainy, but music is prevailing.

Right now I can hear a dulcimer in the distance and the thump of a bass.

Folks are preparing for the big community potluck. It’ll start in less than an hour and the smells of cooking food have whetted our appetites.

Great news! We’ve passed the 115 mark in registered campers and 100 would have been considered a success.

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List Makers

I’m sure I’m not the only list maker.. I love lists. I love planning everything out in detail.

Next week we’ll be at a festival, the following week at a campground, and on September 17th, John and I will be heading to Florida to spend six weeks with my mother (who has advanced alzeheimers). I’m going through the list making process. I’m the best list maker you’ll ever run across because I’ve had more practice. But this time I’ve created a “universal” list.

My perfect packing list is nearly 200 items long and consists of multiple columns. There is a main “stuff to be packed” column which lists everything we need no matter where we are. We don’t take everything every time we travel. Some of the stuff only gets used at festivals, or only when we’re in the U.P. or strictly when we head to Florida. Following the main column are four columns: one for “Festivals,” one for “Camping,” one for “Going to the Upper Penninsula,” and one for “Florida.” If there’s an “x” in a column, the item must be packed for that trip. Some items have four “x’s” and some have only one. No matter where we’re headed that one packing list works. I can isolate only those items for any of the four types of vacations. I can continue to improve on it and groom it to perfection.

Of course next week, we go to the Midland Dulcimer Festival AND afterward go to Rifle River for a week (nine days) of camping. But I’ll be prepared. And when we get back, I’ll sort by the Florida column and start parking for our six weeks in the South.

I love our life. Yes, we’re busy, but it’s wonderful! And arriving with everything we need makes it that much more comfortable.

I’m sure glad my career was as a hospital planner. It qualifies me as a good list-making retiree.

….a few days later….
PS I’m writing this post script at the Festival and guess what, despite my wonderful lists, I forgot some stuff. My battery tester, replacement night light bulbs, and my extra hammered dulcimer hammers. Probably I’ll discover more stuff too. Ok, so I’m not perfect, but maybe by the time we head to Florida, I’ll have it perfected.

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The visit

Monday my two brothers met: my brother I’d known since he was born in 1949; and Jim, the brother I didn’t know existed until March of 2005.

It was astounding. Denny’s short and stocky, Jim’s tall and more slender. But they recognized the similarities: baldness!

Other than that I couldn’t see many features where they were the same:

Denny’s talkative.
Jim’s quiet.

But somehow they were immediately “brothers.”

We yacked. Denny and I talked and talked. Yup, I’m guilty of being a talker too.

But the best part of the evening was when Louise took me aside and told me how much Jim is enjoying the discovery of his new family.

Ok, so some of you have just stumbled on this part of the story. To read the whole tale, go to the entire narrative at:

It’s great!

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Monster Grill…

We’ve been pretty busy since returning from the Upper Peninsula.

This week we’ve been outfitting our deck with stuff that we have wanted for years but we hadn’t bothered to buy. The end of season sales are wonderful so we got a deluxe eight-burner grill, a small outdoor fountain, a nice table and eight comfortable chairs. We also bought some extra plants and we’re busy sprucing up things. We’ve lived in this house for over 20 years and for the first time we’re using the deck the way we envisioned using it when we built the house.

Here’s an observation: a six-foot grill is a bit overkill for two people. We cooked two hamburgs last night and a chicken breast tonight. Almost lost the meat on the vast expanse of our new grill. It’s grand. We could prepare a whole pig in it.

Monday we’ve invited company over. Wouldn’t ‘cha know it, with our wonderful new outdoor setting, the predictions are for clear skies until Monday, then RAIN!

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