Never Switching To Decaf

Ramblings about life, family, cooking and photography.

The light at the end of winter’s tunnel. February 7, 2009

Filed under: hiking,Kids,Photography — travit @ 11:02 pm
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dsc07435We had a beautiful day today.  Temperatures in the mid 50s and bright blue, sunny skies.  After all of the time we have spent below zero lately, the air felt downright balmy.

I had heard about the coming weekend warmup on Tuesday and at that point decided that I didn’t care how slushy and muddy it was going to be we were going to get out and enjoy it.  Riley, Carson and I headed for one of our favorite hiking spots, Waterfall Glen in Darien.  Camera in hand, of course.

Yes, it was muddy and slushy but worth it.  Because of all of the snow melt the waterfall was running stronger than we had ever seen it.  It was mostly a muddy mess, but still very relaxing.   We explored for a bit and managed to stay fairly clean.   Until on the way back to the car when Riley fell over into a giant mud puddle.  I knew that we weren’t going to get out of there clean and Riley wanted to make sure I was right about that.  Oh well, mud washes off easily.

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This may be one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken of Carson.

This may be one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken of Carson.

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She wasn't happy about the mud.

She wasn't happy about the mud.

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Winter Sucks January 18, 2009

Filed under: Family,Kids,life,Me,Photography — travit @ 4:38 pm
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I’ve been so busy lately and I’ve completely ignored my little blog.  I’ve been working on my writing lately, but none of it has ended up here.  It’s all in random word files on my computer, half of which I end up deleting because I get frustrated by my own lack of talent and ambition.  I should probably be working on my self esteem issues too.

It’s been so cold here lately and I haven’t been taking any pictures at all.  We had an ice storm right before the holidays and I went out with Carson and Riley and while they slipped and slid around the front yard, I took pictures of the ice coated branches and remaining leaves.

A cold gnome and his special friend.

A cold gnome and his special friend.

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It's hard to make a snow angel when the snow is frozen solid.

It's hard to make a snow angel when the snow is frozen solid.

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Holy Hill October 1, 2008

Filed under: Me,Photography — travit @ 11:21 am
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We recently took a trip to Milwaukee and while there we visited Holy Hill Basilica.  It’s a beautiful place that is situated on the highest point in that area of SW Wisconsin.  You can see the spires of the church from miles around and when up on top of the hill you are treated to beautiful views of the surrounding area and the shrine itself is breathtaking.  Unfortunately while we were there the spires were undergoing a renovation project and were completely covered with scaffolding.

Inside the chapel
Inside the chapel
The Altar
The Altar
Outside - taken from further down the hill.  It was difficult to get pictures that hid the contrsuction equipment.
Outside – taken from further down the hill. It was difficult to get pictures that hid the construction equipment.
Stained Glass Window
Stained Glass Window

 

Fun at the Fair September 15, 2008

Filed under: Family,Kids,Me,Photography — travit @ 6:09 pm
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I know what my readers want.  Clearly it’s more posts with towns/cities/counties/municipalities/monarchies with names that are fun to say.  In this case it’s not a new name, we’re back at the Sheboygan County Fair, which takes place in Plymouth, WI and not the county seat of Sheboygan.  Perhaps there is a story full of county politics and intrigue as to why that is, but quite frankly I don’t want to get involved.

The fair was everything you would expect from a county fair in Wisconsin. There was food, most of it fried or dairy related and in some cases both, fun in the form of impossible games and rides of questionable safety standards and cows.

When did fairs get to be so expensive?  We purchased over $20 in ride tickets and the kids were only able to ride 4 rides, and you can not find a game to play for under $2 these days.  I remember when you could hand a transient a dollar, they would hand you a few darts and you would pop a balloon in exchange for a Poison or Motley Crue mirror.  You know, the good old days.

Test driving the tractors.

Test driving the tractors.

I think they were trying to match their outfits, I've taught them well.

I think they were trying to match their outfits, I've taught them well.

I thought this was so sweet.

I thought this was so sweet.

What???

What???

Bumper cars

Bumper cars

Funnel cake, anyone?

Funnel cake, anyone?

What do pigs dream about?

What do pigs dream about?

Oh look, another cow.

Oh look, another cow.

 

The Second First Day of School August 24, 2008

Filed under: Family,Kids,Photography — travit @ 11:35 am
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Thursday was Carson’s first day of school and Riley’s first day of school at her a.m. Kindergarten.  Another first day meant I got to buy her another first day of school dress.

She picked this flower for her teacher.

She picked this flower for her teacher.

Carson ready to go. Note the cooly slung backpack.

Carson ready to go. Note the cooly slung backpack.

Helping his sister find the way.

Helping his sister find the way.

I think this may be the cutest back to school picture ever.

I think this may be the cutest back to school picture ever.

 

Cleveland Adventure, Part 3: Zoo, Friends, Pedicures & Pizzazz August 14, 2008

Filed under: Family,Friends,Kids,Photography,Wii — travit @ 10:31 am
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While in Cleveland I made it a priority to visit with some friends old and new.  On Thursday, Carson, Riley and I went to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to meet up with an online friend of mine and her two boys.  We had such a great day, hanging out, chatting, being exposed to copious amounts of monkey genitalia.  You know, zoo stuff.  The kids all got along great and had a wonderful time exploring and learning about the animals together.

Carson’s favorite part was the Animal care center where they have glass windows and he was able to watch a veterinarian and his staff preform some basic procedures on a small animal.  He was fascinated and still is talking about how cool that it was to watch the doctor work.

Lounging Leopard

Lounging Leopard

Lunchtime for Tortoise

Lunchtime for Tortoise

Inside the butterfly garden.

Inside the butterfly garden.

I almost walked right into the branch that this guy was sitting on.

I almost walked right into the branch that this guy was sitting on.

Anyone know what these are?  They were hanging from a tree and I thought they were so cool.

Anyone know what these are? They were hanging from a tree and I thought they were so cool.

Riley the roo

Riley the roo

After the zoo I dropped the kids off with my mom for dinner at Red Robin and I headed off to Mayfield to see Lisa, Corey and Lisa’s mom.  While at their house I got to play Guns & Roses Pinball, a Japanese Speed Racer slot machine and Rock Band for Wii.  It was a blast, I did suck ass at the drumming portion of Rock Band but had fun none the less.

Lisa and I then headed off to get pedicures at a nail place near her home.  We both chose the same color nail polish which when applied was much brighter than anticipated.  I ended up with Smurf Toes.  That’s okay because the pedicure itself was relaxing and it was wonderful to be able to sit and talk to Lisa and not have to worry about anything else while getting pampered.

No trip to Mayfield would be complete with a trip to Pizzazz Pizza and getting a salad and a chicken and vegetable calzone.  We met back with Corey and had a fantastic dinner.  I have been ordering the same thing at Pizzazz for almost 20 years and it is just as fantastic as ever.  Their calzone crust is like nothing I’ve been able to find or replicate myself.  It is garlicky and wonderful.  The only thing that has changed is that they no longer have bleu cheese crumbles available for the salad.  In addition to great food, we had fun laughing, talking and catching up.

That day Lisa and Corey just found out that they are going to be having a baby boy and it was wonderful to get to share in a bit of their excitement.  They are so cute, so loving and so excited.  I couldn’t be more happy for them.

 

Cleveland Adventure, Part 2 August 11, 2008

Filed under: Family,Kids,life,Me,Photography,Travel — travit @ 12:47 pm
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Well after our hike and castle exploration was rained out we decided to do a little shopping . We hit a bike store where I promptly fell in love with this. And no, it didn’t cost THAT much at the store. I stopped dreaming about a blue and brown bike and we he headed for lunch.

After lunch the skies had cleared up considerably and we decided to visit the Arboretum. In all of the years that I lived in the Cleveland area I never once visited the Arboretum there. It turns out it that is a very nice place with many hiking trails lots of activities and areas to explore.  We hiked for a little more than 2 miles and took a tour in an electric tram car.  With so much to see there we were only able to see a fraction of what the facility has to offer.

Waterfall in the Butterfly Garden @ Holden Arboretum

Waterfall in the Butterfly Garden @ Holden Arboretum

Pine Reflections

Pine Reflections

The Butterfly Garden was in full bloom.

The Butterfly Garden was in full bloom.

More flowers

Carson hiking map and walking stick in hand

Carson hiking map and walking stick in hand

A large part of my day was spent trying to get a decent bee picture.

A large part of my day was spent trying to get a decent bee picture.

Trying...

Trying...

and trying once again.

and trying once again.

We finally capped the day with an 8.2 mile bike along the Maple Highlands trail starting in Chardon, OH.  It was fun, I thought I would die around the 3 mile mark but I pushed through and actually enjoyed the last half of the ride.