About Me

My photo
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.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Today we celebrated Christmas with a dinner in the clubhouse.

The tables were all decorated by some of the snowbirds here in the park. Here are Fran Clark and Donna Vig hard at work making table decorations.

I drilled half-inch holes in these glass blocks and then Teddy threaded Christmas lights inside to use as table center pieces. After the dinner was over we drew names and gave them away to six lucky recipients.

By 5 pm on Christmas eve we had the tables all set up.

At 3pm this afternoon we gathered at the clubhouse and I, as is my wont, had again written a poem for the event which I read to the assemblage before dinner.
Gad, I'm such a ham!

A visit from Saint Havasu

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the park,
The ladies were cooking, even Fran Clark.
Ovens were lit; cookies were baking.
I didn’t have a clue of what Teddy was making.

Jim Over was playing; his pipes were ‘a dronin’,
And Irene with her cell phone the grandkids was phonin’.
At Dingmans Carol was trying to be heard,
But Don with his hearing aid off hadn’t heard a word.

At Babcocks Jim was making his pie,
And dreaming of Carol, a tear in his eye.
Buck-up Jim No time for tears
She will be back in time for New Years.

And now, it’s here, it’s Christmas day,
Where the time went, I cannot say.
The years go by like Larry King’s wives,
Faster even than Larry Weber drives.

Now we must pause and think of those
Who cannot be here; Petersons & Bristows.
But they’ll be back, of that I’m assured,
With surgeries done and troubles cured.

But lets get back to the subject at hand,
And this glorious dinner that Pat has planned
The table’s piled high with goodies galore;
There’s naught among us could ask for more

Laverne & Pat have been working hard,
We all hold them in high regard.
We shout to them three cheers, at least,
For they have arranged this glorious feast.

So now we partake in our Christmas feast day
You see before you a glorious buffet
So pile your plates with gravy & taters’
Turkey, dressing and sliced tomaters’
Just help yourself, there are no waiters.

And later on after you depart,
And are about to pass an after dinner fart
Just pour yourself another glass of wine
Let’s do this again in two-thousand nine
Larry Page 12/25/2008

Then we went straight to the business at hand!
We had turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes & gravy, and a host of casseroles and deserts bought by the park residents. I, of course, made my famous "Spanish Deviled Eggs Supreme"
and Teddy made two clafoutis. (see our blog of August 20, 2008)

A good day! :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday Breakfast

Every Saturday morning from 8 till 9:30 volunteer snowbird residents of the park host a breakfast in the clubhouse. We serve up scrambled eggs, sausages, biscuits & gravy, waffles, juice and coffee. For legal reasons we don’t charge but instead ask for a “freewill” donation; most folks throw in a fiver per breakfast which covers our expenses and allows us to make a small profit which we use to finance our daily morning coffee in the clubhouse with pastries on Wednesdays. And also put on dinners at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and St. Pats day. Yesterday, Dec. 20 was the second breakfast of this winter and we will continue through March.

Here are some of the kitchen staff getting ready for the morning rush.

Teddy and I both volunteer…she does pre breakfast set-up and works the dining room and I make waffles to order.

Here are some of the hungry RVers enjoying their breakfast.
(note: That's Teddy in the purple shirt walking down the aisle serving coffee.)

And, of course, there's always some washin'-up to do afterward as Gail Valentine & Teddy can attest.

I not only have a lot of fun making and hawking my wares but also get to enjoy a great breakfast at a good price.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday Martinis (a tradition)

In our previous life before we went “fulltime” we had a tradition that stretched back over some thirty odd years of hosting what was known as “Martini Monday” at our home. Several of our friends would drop in around 5 pm on Mondays for martinis and sometimes snacks. The rule was that you had to have two martinis, no more, no less because martinis were like boobs, i.e. “One’s not enough and three’s too many”.
It all started with my good friend Kevin Fenner who lived in Appleton at the time. Kevin worked with me at Lawrence University and we started to meet at my house for martinis on Mondays after work. Before long we became martini snobs and even experimented with stuffing our own olives by replacing the paste pimentos that come in store bought olives with real pimentos. We also made them sans ice, eschewing ice for fear of diluting the martini. Instead we kept the gin in the freezer and the vermouth in the refrigerator. We also began adding, in addition to an olive, a pickled onion and a “little tickler”* to each martini under the theory that it was healthy to eat vegetables and decided that three was the optimum number. After a time we were joined by another friend, Lawrence alum Dick Orr who had moved to Appleton to open a Law Office.
The years went by and Kevin’s job took him to Naperville, ILL but Dick and I faithfully kept up the Monday Martini tradition, with other friends and/or wives joining us on occasion. Eventually the core group of Monday Martini club members stabilized to myself & Teddy, Dick & Jenny Orr, Tom & Carol Sykes, and Greg Madson. While we all couldn’t always make every Monday invariably one or two members always seemed to show up and if Teddy & I couldn’t host for some reason it would get shifted to someone else’s house.
I must say that we were probably responsible for a significant amount of the gin sales in Appleton.
Fast forward to 2005. Teddy and I decide to sell our home, buy an RV and hit the road as fulltime Rvers. Would this be the end of the Monday Martini club? Not on your life, the remaining members have stepped into the breech and alternately host it. And I, wherever I am, always have my martini at ~5pm on Mondays. However I am now in the habit of substituting a JalapeƱo slice for the “little tickler”* and, depending on the time difference, I sometimes phone back to Appleton to check in.

*Little Tickler – A small olive size pickled tomato

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Traverse City snow scene

My brother and sister-in-law, Lyle & Kathy Page recently emailed me this photo of their home in Traverse City, Michigan taken after an overnight snowstorm. While it is a beautiful Christmas card type scene, it doesn't seem nearly as beautiful after two hours of shoveling just to get your car out of the garage. Just thinking about it makes me happy that we are now spending our winters in Arizona.
Merry Christmas Lyle & Kathy, bet you can't wait to head for Myrtle Beach, SC, where you usually spend the winters.
You should come to Arizona this winter, there's an empty RV spot right next to us. ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Decorating for Christmas

Yesterday afternoon we all met at the clubhouse to decorate it for the Christmas holiday season. While the others decorated I wandered around snapping picts.

Teddy and Sharon started by putting strings of lights on the tree.

Meanwhile Jim V. decided to try and untangle the outside lights...

...and Ray V. thought he could help.

And then in turn, first George...

...and then Al got in the act.

Eventually they got them all straightened out.

So that Shorty and Laverne could take them and start on the outside decorations.

Leo and Ray U. were in charge of setting up the music system.

Donna was hard at work preparing a table display.

After the tree lights were all strung, Teddy and Fran unpacked the tree ornaments.

Finally it was done and the tree was lit in all of it's glory.

In the meantime Pat was in the kitchen making chili and potato soup to feed the hungry volunteers.

I had the chili and Teddy had the potato.
It was a real fun day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Hour!

Sorry to have not blogged recently but have been busy on another of my projects, making aluminum game boards for P&G. Will post a blog on them when the project is finished.
In the meantime, yesterday was this winters first all-park "Happy Hour Thursday" in the clubhouse. From now till spring we will gather in the clubhouse for a park wide BYOB get-together at ~ 4:00 pm on Thursdays.
Here are some of the folks just getting started. Notice how happy they look!

Most folks bring goodies as well...here is the goodie table after being attacked by the hungry hordes.

On other days of the week a lot of us gather in smaller groups outside of each others trailer or MH for drinks at around the same hour of the day. I generally will have a Scotch except on Mondays which is, of course, "Martini Monday" as our good friends in Appleton will attest.