About Me

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Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.

Monday, March 23, 2009

John & Sally

Yesterday, Sunday March 22, our friends John & Sally Dickinson from Tucson motored up to visit us. John & I worked together as summer intern recording engineers at the "Interlochen Center for the Arts" some 45 years ago when we were college students. We have kept in touch through the years but have rarely seen each other due to the distance of our homes. John works for IBM in Tucson and Sally is a retired school teacher. I regret that we got so caught up in visiting that I neglected to snap a photo...oh well...I'm sure that I'll get the opportunity next fall when we return to Desert Gardens. We introduced them to the full-timing RV lifestyle and gave them a tour of the park ending with an ice cream social at the clubhouse. After lunch we went for a drive and visited the museum in Florence, stopped at the prison outlet store and toured the town. Then we drove through the grounds of St. Anthony's Monastery but didn't stop as we weren't suitably dressed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Noisy visitor


This is the view from our back (Living Room) window here at The Desert Gardens RV park. As you can see Teddy placed a hummingbird feeder in the tree directly behind the trailer in hopes of attracting an Anna's hummer which are prevalent in the area. As you can see we certainly didn't get what we expected.
video This morning at around 6:30 am I was awakened by a rapid "rat-a-tat-tat" noise.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Gila Woodpecker assaulting my ear.
Nazzie and I were amazed to see this little guy whacking away at the top of this electrical box. I grabbed my camera and Nazzie got downright excited. He was apparently thinking, "Woodpecker Pie, woodpecker pie, gonna get me some woodpecker pie", but alas it was not to be.

Next he flew into the tree and by cleverly clinging to a branch adjacent to the hummingbird feeder, was able to enjoy a hummingbird breakfast. Later in the day he came back with his girlfriend to buy her lunch. On reflection, I believe that the pounding away at the electrical box was just an attempt to impress his girlfriend with what a strong pecker he had. ;-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery

Yesterday we visited St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery with our friends Hank & Eva Syberden from Cochran, Alberta. The monastery is located about five miles from the park and it is truly amazing; the monks have turned their little patch (107 acres) of the Sonoran desert into a veritable oasis. We had to comply with a strict dress code in order to tour the complex. The men had to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, and closed shoes with stockings.



The women were required to wear a long dress that reached the ankles, and a long sleeved top with a closed front. Women were also required to wear a scarf over their head and closed, flat bottomed shoes with socks.
Here is Teddy dressed in the prescribed garb.










Once we had passed the clothing inspection we were turned over to a monk, Brother Nicholas for the first part of the tour. He gave a brief description of the church, answered our questions and even allowed us to photograph him, though it was proscribed that we should not take photos of the monks.

Our first stop was the main church, St. Anthony's. Entering we were gobsmacked at the complex ornateness of the sanctuary shown here.

From there Brother Nicholas turned us loose to wander the grounds on our own with no restrictions to photographs as long as we kept to the prescribed paths and buildings.


The grounds are absolutely stunning, lush with tropical vegetation of all kinds with gazebos, fountains and chapels interspersed throughout.





Such as St Nicholas' Chapel shown here.









Brother Nicholas said that although they were not completely self sustaining for food, they did have grape arbors, orange groves such as this and gardens where they grew fruits & vegetables.







Perched on a hillock overlooking the church and gardens was this beautiful white building which as it turns out is Prophet Elias' Chapel, under construction. It is expected to be completed sometime this summer and will then be open to visitors.













I did some digging on the internet and came up with this exposé part 1 and part 2 on the monastery done a couple of years ago by a Tucson TV station. This might explain why they were reluctant to have photos taken of the monks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Florence


We are in Florence...no we didn't put pontoons on the RV and float to Italy, this Florence is in Arizona. We have some friends that we met in Lake Havasu who were staying in the Desert Gardens RV Oasis about five miles south of Florence on Hwy 79 so we decided to come down and join them for a couple of weeks. From here we plan on staying once again in Pahrump Nevada for the month of April.
This is a real nice park with a many varieties of desert flowers, plants and cacti. As you can see from this photo we have a magnificent saguaro right behind our trailer.
Yesterday, Sunday the 15th, we explored the little town of Florence which as it turns out, is the fifth oldest city in Arizona. Apparently it used to be quite a boom town in the old days with copper and gold mines.
I shot this panorama on main street which looks like it is right out of a western movie. We drove around town and discovered the Pinal County courthouse which, except for the palm trees, reminds me of the courthouse in the movie Back to the Future. This from the website: Florence contractors, A.J. Doran and T.A. Adams built the courthouse in 1891 for a cost of $29,000. A shortage of funds resulted in painted metal clock faces in the distinctive cupola. Thus, "time stands still" at 11:44.
There are a lot of attractions in the area so it appears that we will be busy exploring for the next couple of weeks.
Tomorrow we plan on visiting a Greek monastery not far from here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Desert Bar (revisited)

On Sunday afternoon several of us journeyed out to the "Desert Bar". Teddy and I had been there once before (see our blog of February 12, 2007) but not since. The occasion was to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of our friends, Pat & LaVerne Schumacher of Alden, Iowa. Some of us had gotten togather and suprised them with a mock renewal of vows. video We had made up a wedding veil for Pat and a wide, wide tie for LaVerne, I had the music "Love and Marrage" on my notebook computer and our friend Gary Clark, from BC, Canada, acted as the priest complete with a paper collar. It was great fun and a lot of laughs.




Of course Teddy as is her wont, had to climb up to the top of the nearest peak to take a picture looking down on the rest of us.


















It would have taken me about a month and a half and a stout rope to get up there. ;-)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Potato salad and more!

click on photos for larger size
Sometimes some of the best times are those events that happen spontaneously with no advance planning. Such was the case early this evening. One of the RV campers here in the park left this morning so suddenly there was an empty RV site on our end of the park directly across from our trailer. Someone suggested that we should have a cookout on the empty pad and before long several of our friends were preparing snacks and drinks, bringing chairs and setting up a grill for burgers. Two of us expropriated a large round table from the clubhouse, rolled it over to the site and set it up for a serving table. Beginning around four o’clock we started in on the snacks and drinks followed by cheeseburgers with all the works including sliced tomatoes, two kinds of beans, pasta salad and Carol Babcock made some of the best potato salad that I have ever eaten. My willpower completely failed me, as I couldn’t resist going back for seconds of that.
And just about then Don Dingman started dishing out bowls of ice cream, which we topped with an assortment of goodies such as nuts, pineapple, banana chunks, crumbled brownies, and chocolate and caramel syrup.
What a wonderful time we had, even if it was a diet buster. It was one of those days that you hate to see end.
Finally as if to punctuate the evening we witnessed this glorious sunset