Monday, May 12, 2014


What a weekend!  We had a rental car for the weekend and boy did it get put to use!  Friday  Mike and Pete picked me up after work.  We stopped at McMillen Park for the Botanical Garden's annual big plant sale.  Pete found more entries for his shade garden, we got some tomato and other vegetable plants and flowers for the front steps.  We stopped home to drop off the plants and load up the car with camping gear. A quick stop at Kmart to replace two air mattresses that have quit holding air and then dinner at Pizza Hut (where very conveniently we ate and sat out a heavy rain storm) and from there on to Merry Lea for their NatureFest weekend.  We got to Wolf Lake and set up our tent, took a short hike listening for frogs, joined some others around a campfire and ate s'mores.  I sat out next to the lake and listened to the bullfrog chorus and watched stars play hide and seek with the clouds.  There was a storm off to the south with lots of lightning, but not close enough to feel threatening.  Eventually I joined Mike and Pete and climbed into bed.

The next morning Mike did the Turtle Trot 5K.  Pete wasn't inclined, so I joined him at the finish line.  We were going to have to leave later in the morning to get back to Fort Wayne for Pete's soccer game, but we had thought we would do  the morning activities.  One thing led to another, and we just decided to leave earlier and pick our way back to town.  Mike drove back through Columbia City and we found their farmer's market set up around the courthouse.  Heard some good music, had a good chai and muffin, got rhubarb and asparagus. Worthwhile stop!

Then on to soccer.  Pete's team played well, though he was having an off-day himself.  Post soccer, we picked our way home, unloaded the camping gear into the garage and decided to go to Noodles and Company for lunch.  We had eaten at one on our way home from Colorado last fall and just haven't made it back since, though the one in Fort Wayne is actually pretty convenient. Good lunch!  Mike just had Friday night off, so we went home so he could get changed.  I loaded a tarp into the car and our 5 old recycling bins.  Pete and I went off with a stop at Target to get him some shorts that fit (10 year old boys, they outgrow everything!)  Target did what Target does so well, sucks money out of your wallet. I replaced cloth napkins and some dish towels, and a few other things too.  But hey, we made it all fit in our (oversized) bag from home!

Next, to the city's yardwaste site to drop off a few vines from last fall and load up our recycling bins with beautifully free mulch!  Bins loaded, we headed home to drop them off, then met up with Mike for some supper.  He headed back to work, Pete and I headed home for a short bit. I found the recipe for a bean salad Mike wanted to make for Mother's Day at his mom's. We have a print copy somewhere, but truthfully it was simpler to look it up online.  That gave me the shopping list for Kroger, so off Pete and I went to Kroger and then out to the far east side of New Haven for some stargazing.

Thursday we had been to the planetarium at University of St Francis for a program on the planets put together by NASA.  They also set the star machine so we could see the Fort Wayne night sky at this time of year and pointed out what constellations and other star configurations are visible.  There was also a film that showed what the telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii see. Lots!   Every Saturday evening spring through fall the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society opens up their big telescope for public stargazing.  Since we had a car this weekend, Pete and I went to see what a 16  inch telescope can find.  We saw the polar icecap on Mars; Jupiter and four of it's moons; Castor and Pollux the Gemini twin stars;  Arcturus and Spica; and our Moon.  The craters are incredible at that magnification!  It was pushing 11:00 by then, so we called it a night and headed home.

Sunday was Sunday School and the kids choir sang at Plymouth.  It was 10 years ago on Mother's Day that I first visited Plymouth. Rev. Ruth Phillips preached that day and one of her references was to a quote by one of my seminary professors.  I stayed.

After church we headed home and met Mike and he made his bean salad and we headed off to his mom's for dinner and family visiting with his sisters, a few brothers-in-law and a few assorted nieces and nephews.  Halfway to Mike's mom's we realized we had left her Mother's Day gift of tomato plants at home. We left in time for Mike to get to work. so Pete and I put the plants in the car and drove back to her house and then picked up some dog food (that I didn't know we were out of until it was time to feed the dogs).  We got Mike and went to Qdoba's for supper, took him back to work.  Since Pete hadn't been to Mass yet he and I went to St Joe's for 7:30.  I really enjoy Fr. Tim Wrozek  the pastor there.

We got home just in time for our standing date with Cosmos.  I went to pick Mike up from work when he was done at 12:30 and we came home.  It was a very busy weekend, but I think we got our $30 (plus insurance) out of our car rental!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Shopping with a well-equipped bike....

.....makes a huge difference!

Friday, Mike took my yellow Schwinn in to the bike shop for some long overdue maintenance.  (It was my promised Christmas present)    So yesterday afternoon I decided to tryout the bike, which has my nice-sized panniers on it and a pretty and somewhat-functional basket, on a trip to Kroger.    As I filled the cart in the store I was beginning to get a a bit wary of over-shopping my carrying capacity.

  I went through the self-check, put everything back into the cart and headed out to the bike.  My two saddlebags were both well filled, I had another full canvas bag bungied on the carrier and two boxes of cereal and a head of lettuce in my backpack. The basket only held the spackle and wood stain I had picked up at the hardware store next door.

The bike felt much heavier (because it was) but the balance was good and the pedaling was fine.  Here is what it looked like when I got home:

In short, I could really like going shopping with this set up!