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Friday, September 28, 2018

Squirrels and the New Villa

I find the antics of squirrels very entertaining sometimes. Here are a couple of pictures that I snapped of a squirrel in a tree outside my computer room window recently. They just make me smile. I hope they have the same effect on you.

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I mentioned in my last post that we had recently purchased a villa in a nearby retirement community. I thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of it.

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We're getting some work done inside the villa, primarily painting and some new carpet; so I'll hold off posting pictures of the inside until that work is done. 

Meanwhile, there's a lot of work to be done in downsizing and getting moved, then getting the current house ready to be put on the market. So it's a bit hectic around here right now.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Reveal

Back in July, I showed you a picture of a new entry door we had ordered for our house and promised to show you before and after photos after the door was installed. Well, you probably thought I forgot; but it was several weeks before the installers got around to our project. Finally, it's done. And here's the reveal.

First, the before photo of the outside of the front door:

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And then the after photo:

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A note of explanation about the above photo...I had to open the storm door in order to get this picture. The storm door is clear glass, but there was so much reflection in it that it detracted from the new entry door.


Here's what the old door looked like from the inside:

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And here's the inside view of the new door:

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And, lastly, the before view of the house with the old door:

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And the view of the house with the new door and a new roof:

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At the time we planned these and other improvements to our house, we had no immediate plans of moving. These were just things that needed to be done. And they would be especially important if we decided to put the house on the market.

Things have changed in the last few weeks, though. We have purchased a villa in a small retirement community just a few miles from our current home. As soon as we can get it ready for occupancy and get our current home ready for sale, we'll be moving. It's going to be an adjustment because we've lived in this house for almost 30 years, and the new place is smaller. But we're excited about it.  

There will be more about the new place soon.

Well, as you may have noticed by my irregular posting lately, "soon" is a relative term.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

A Quick Trip to North Carolina

Doug's sister, Linda, who lives in North Carolina, called us on Saturday, August 18, to let us know that her husband, Larry, had died the day before. A bad fall a few days earlier had resulted in a severe head injury, from which he couldn't recover. 

Doug and I talked it over after the phone call from Linda and decided that, even though there wasn't to be any kind of funeral service for Larry, we'd like to go, just to be there for Linda. We couldn't leave before Monday afternoon because we had appointments to change and needed to get an oil change for our vehicle before making the 1500-mile (2414-km) round trip.

We arrived at Linda's on Tuesday afternoon. She was doing well, having gotten some good counsel from the funeral home that was arranging the cremation. And her son, Shawn, from Tennessee, was staying several days with her and helping her through the details that need to be attended to after a death. We had missed seeing Shawn's sister, who had been there but had left before we arrived.

We were able to spend some time with Linda and Shawn on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, before starting for home about 10:30 Thursday morning. We drove straight through and arrived home at 12:30 AM on Friday. (We had missed our own bed.) 

I thought you might enjoy seeing some photos from Linda's house and yard. She is a landscape designer and has had some fun using her creativity in her own backyard. 

20180906 A Quick Trip to North Carolina

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Shawn & Linda

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Linda relaxing with her dog, Finn

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sailing

Our friends, Winston and Patty, were planning activities to include in their vacation to Put-In-Bay, on South Bass Island, in Lake Erie. One of those activities was a sailing trip on Lake Erie on August 9, and they invited us to join them for that. We were delighted to accept.

The day was beautiful, with a nice breeze to fill the sails.

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Our vessel for the tour

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"Captain Jim"

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Doug and me.
That's our captain, on his cell phone, with his back to us.
Winston was at the helm.

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A collage of photos of Winston and Patty. Each took a turn at the helm.

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Doug also took a turn at the helm.

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Some of the other vessels we saw out on the water

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Starve Island
It's said that two-mile-long Starve Island gets its name from the fate of a sailor who was shipwrecked there.

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Perry's Memorial

Perry's Memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie, one of the most significant naval battles to occur in the War of 1812.


It was a fun day, and we so appreciated Winston and Patty's invitation to join them.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

31 Years!

Yesterday was our anniversary. Thirty-one years! Yikes! Where does the time go?

This wasn't a major anniversary; and, after all, there had already been 30 of them. So we hadn't planned anything special. I had volunteered to work in the church office from 9 AM to 2 PM, covering for another volunteer who needed the day off. After that, we had just planned to enjoy a nap, have a quick supper, and go to church for our mid-week Bible study.

But then...good friends, Terry and Diane, contacted us the night before. They live about 50 miles south of us, but Terry had to come to Fort Wayne for a medical appointment Wednesday afternoon. They wondered if we could meet for a meal so they could celebrate our anniversary with us.

Suddenly, we had plans for celebrating the occasion.

20180816 31 Years!
Anniversary Flowers

When I came home from working at the church office, I found a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table, accompanied by the photo book that I had made for Doug for our 20th anniversary. He has loved that book since I gave it to him on our trip to Alaska back in 2007, and bringing it out again on our 31st gave us both the opportunity to look back over those photos from our first 20 years together.  

The rest of the photos in this post were taken by Diane at the restaurant...well, except for the one of the four of us, which was taken by our waitress.

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These final two pictures are of the outside of the restaurant. One wall of the building consists of windows, overlooking the water and the swans and ducks that call it home.

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Many thanks to special friends, Terry and Diane, for making our 31st anniversary special.


Friday, August 10, 2018

Summer Fun

It's been, for the most part, a hot and humid summer in our area; and it seems as if it's flying by. Kids will be returning to school next week! It's been rather an uneventful season for us, which can be a good thing at our ages. :)

Here are a few photos from local events that just seem to scream "summer fun." The first was an outdoor concert with Christian music artist, Guy Penrod, who was a member of the Gaither Vocal Band for many years. There was no charge to attend the concert, but a love offering was collected for the benefit of area food banks.

The outdoor venue gave an intimate feel to the concert. Guy even came down off the stage and walked through the audience at one point.


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This second set of images is from Harlan Days, an annual summer festival in the small town where Doug and I live.

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I hope summer has been kind to you.


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Still More Dragonflies

These dragonfly photos were taken almost three weeks ago and are just now finding their way to the blog.

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Collage of Halloween Pennant Dragonflies

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Collage of Twelve Spotted Skimmer Dragonflies


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Widow Skimmer Dragonfly


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Calico Pennant Dragonfly

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Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly

Each summer, it gets harder to maintain the house and yard. We're aging, you know, as difficult as it is to accept that fact. So, this summer, we're getting some much-needed maintenance taken care of...things that would need to be done if we stayed here but that would also help sell the house if we decide to go that direction.

Among other things, we're getting a new front door. The house is nearly 45 years old, and the entry door has never been replaced. The wood in the side panels has cracked enough that we can see daylight through the cracks. So it's time. We've ordered the door and have hired an installer. So it's not in yet, but here's a picture of it from the online catalog:

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When it arrives and is installed, I'll post before and after pictures.

We're also having a new roof put on the house and adding an improved venting system for the attic, along with a few other improvements and maintenance items. It's been time consuming and sometimes stressful as we line up professionals to take care of these things, but we're seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. 

As a friend likes to say, we just hope the light at the end of the tunnel isn't an oncoming train.


Thursday, July 05, 2018

More Dragonflies and a Kingfisher

Another visit to Ouabache State Park provided a few more dragonfly photos and a couple of shots of a belted kingfisher. Enjoy.

20180705 More Dragonflies and a Kingfisher
Widow Skimmer

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Eastern Pondhawk

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Twelve Spotted Skimmer

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Twelve Spotted Skimmer

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Belted Kingfisher

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Belted Kingfisher In Flight

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Dragonflies Are Back!

The small lake at Ouabache State Park had been drained all summer last year as work was underway to build a swimming beach. That reduced the number of dragonflies for me to photograph to...well...zero. And that resulted in a dearth of dragonfly photos on the blog last year.

Ah, but the beach is finished now; the lake is full; and the dragonflies are back! 

20180614 The Dragonflies Are Back!
Kunkel Lake, Ouabache State Park

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Red Saddlebags Dragonfly

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Calico Penant Dragonfly

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Common Whitetail Dragonfly

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Twelve-Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

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Blue Dasher Dragonfly

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Widow Skimmer Dragonfly
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