Saturday, May 30, 2009


It is a gorgeous day today in Ohio! The false indigo is in beautiful bloom ~ the goatsbeard in front of it really makes a pretty garden photo ~ just thought I would share! We're home this weekend ~ so we've been to two little league games already today! Went to one last night and one tomorrow!! That makes seven days in a row at the ballfield!!

For those of you who don't have cottonwood trees ~ this is what it looks like when the cottonwood blooms!!!!! It is blowing everywhere and when it lands, it looks like snowdrifts!! This is out by Sonny's shop and it literally drifts in piles! Amazing! And irritating! It hangs on everything ~ fortunately, it's a short blooming season!

So that's it for today ~ I think I'll head outside to work in the flowers ~ it's never ending here ~ inside and out ~ I never get caught up but do keep plugging away!! I hope there are flowers blooming wherever you are!

Friday, May 29, 2009


To my son, Teddy!! Yesterday, my youngest son was 40 years old!! Holy crow!! That makes him almost the same age as me!!! This is a picture of Ted and Miki at a wedding they were in recently ~ nice photo!! Teddy spent part of his day in jail ~ poor guy ~ for charity! We have an old prison in Mansfield where several movies have been made and that was where they 'held' local business people till they made their bail ~ and fed them a nice lunch while they were there!! Ted earned $1000 for Muscular Dystrophy ~ so his day was well spent!! Then last night, his little girl, Luci, had her first softball game ~ what a hoot!! After the second inning, she hollered over to her mom "is it over yet?" Funny!! Then we all went out to a local Mexican place for the birthday dinner! As I was my mother's youngest child, she always referred to me as 'the baby' of the family ~ I refrain from doing that most times, but it's a shocker when your 'baby' is 40 years old!!!! It makes it really bad, too, when I say this extra weight I'm carrying is from my last baby!!!!!! That's way too long to use that line!

Have a good day, friends!! The sun is shining here ~ I think I need to go outside!! Alice

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Oscar is a rug I hooked in a class with Jayne Hester two years ago now! I don't like to post without a picture so I quick took one of this little rug that's in my office ~ it's really Mr. Kitty's rug ~ after I finished it, every time I turned around the cat was laying on it, so I decided to make him a present of it!! Do you like my grammar? Yikes! It was a class in neutrals ~ really hard for me ~ can't say this is one of my best rugs ~ but the cat thinks so!!!!

So now that I have a picture ~ I can ramble! We were at the lake for a long weekend ~ I was going to say a quiet weekend ~ by our standards it was but we were still kind of busy! Friday, Sonny & his son, Brian had a fishing trip ~ a fundraiser for one of our political friends! On Thursday night, some of the fishermen and their wives, met for dinner in Port Clinton along with the fishing trip host and his wife ~ there were 16 of us! We invited anyone who wanted to come back to our condo and they ALL came!! It was fun ~ we had a little liquid refreshment and gave them a tour and by midnight they were all on their way back to their hotel. Friday, my daughter-in-law and I and another gal spent the day in and out of little shops and eating ~ you know how that goes ~ no day is well spent unless we feast!!! There were about 32 fishermen and they caught some walleye ~ not a lot ~ but everybody got some to take home. We ate ours last night ~ yummy!!

The kids had to leave after fishing so we stayed in Friday night ~ the fisherman was really tired from all the fresh air and 6-8' rollers out on that lake! Saturday night, we went out with our lake friends for a little supper ~ saw two different people from home that Sonny had built a home and an office building for ~ our friends say they know we're going to know somebody no matter where we go ~ most often we do! Then we stopped at a local watering hole and we ended up knowing the owners of that ~ the fellow used to be one of our sub-contractors here at home and is now a restauranteur ~ interesting change of vocations ~ wonder how that will work!! Last year, when we were visiting our lake friends in Florida, we walked into a breakfast place and there was somebody from Ohio that we knew ~ kind of funny!

We walked every morning ~ that was nice ~ I've fallen off the exercise wagon ~ again ~ so maybe that will get me jump started! So as I say it was a pretty low key few days for us ~ although one afternoon we did try out a new place for appetizers ~ we'll definitely make a return visit!

This week is consumed with Little League games ~ two last night, one tonite and another tomorrow night! I better go ~ my chariot awaits! Ta ta for now!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


The garden is so pretty today so instead of working in the office ~ I ran out and took pictures to share!! I've already been to a wholesale market this morning and stopped on the way home to plant memorial flowers on my parents' graves ~ my mom always did that for my dad as I grew up, so I keep up the tradition ~ I almost got in the middle of a funeral!! Yikes!

The Adirondack chair in the above photo is an antique that we acquired some years ago ~ it's came with many coats of worn-of paint but still looks great! This is one of the planters that I planted last week ~ it's looking pretty good already, although I do buy pretty mature plants!

This is the center of the courtyard garden ~ it's a jungle, people!! From afar, it's quite appealing ~ close-up ~ it could use some work!! The tall plant in the center is false indigo ~ wish I would use it to dye wool ~ maybe someday! I'm not sure if you use the roots or the pods after the plant blooms ~ I tend to think the pods because they are a blue/black as they dry!

I planted nasturtiums and lantana in this beautiful clay pot ~ the pot was my mother's day present from son, Ted, and family! It's very pretty! And a little basket of pansies and garzania!

Baskets of pansies and a white airy plant, that I don't know the name of, adorn the middle of the tables on the deck ~ and I love heart-shaped rocks!

These stone steps take you down below the deck to the small yard below. There are trillium ~ what's left of them ~ Japanese fern, ivy that suffered greatly this winter, and brunnera (false forget-me-not). Down below is a horsey for the kids made out of old tires!!

This is just a combination basket that I set on a stump! It's surrounded with some type of wild ~ and I mean wild ~ geranium, primroses, and another little woodland plant that the name escapes me!
These next two shots are also combination baskets that I buy and take the hangers off and set them in the wooden barrels on the deck ~ it takes all the work out of it and they do look beautiful!! These are the ones that our dinner guest last week commented on and I was able to say that they came from their garden center!! Yippee!
These pictures will have to hold you for the weekend ~ I won't be posting till after the holiday! Lots going on ~ we are so lucky! I hope you all have a good weekend doing what makes you happy! I hope to get some hooking in and some fun!! The fun is almost a given ~ and I'm going to try to hook on that stair riser that I showed you last!! Now, it seems I better get that office work done that I started out to do an hour ago ~ hope you enjoy the pictures ~ and the summer weather that's ahead of us!! Ta ta for now ~

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Eight ladies came for a lunch and house and garden tour!! We had a great day ~ they were very nice gals ~ 7 quilters and 2 rug hookers ~ I know that makes 9 but Anne, the lady who organized this for her group, does both!! This is a lame picture of the table but it looked pretty cute ~ I'm not much of a tablescape person ~ I like to concentrate on the food to be served and the overall presentation of house and gardens. But the center of the table always gets done last! Always in the middle is an antique bread-rising board from an old bakery ~ it most often has boxwood and dried pomegranates and there was some dried up moss from last spring! I didn't think that looked very Spring like, so about a half hour before they arrived, I ran downstairs and got these little white pails that I have had for a coon's age (old person's term) and ran outside to the leftover pansies and garzania that hadn't gotten planted yet (I had shoved them all in some old tins so it looked like they were planted!) and stuffed some of each into 5 little pails. It worked to spruce up the table and today they'll go in the ground!! I was really pleased that no little critter crawled out during lunch ~ that would have been a nice touch!

This is a really close up picture of the Black Forest cake that I served for dessert ~ I've baked two of these this weekend (one for the Friday night dinner) ~ it's a lot of work but most people really like it ~ a recipe from my very good friend, Marilyn, who is gone now ~ I think of her every time I bake it! I also served Rosemary Lemonade as a 'welcome punch', broccoli quiche, assorted muffins and 7-layer salad! It was all a big hit and I'm ever so glad ~ I swear when I cook for people, it worries me to death that it will all turn out okay! The quiche was my friend's recipe and the first time that I've made it ~ they were beautiful to look at as well as very tasty!! Thank you for sharing, Carol!

This bright little Cardinal was outside the window the other morning ~ he kind of brightened up things so I thought maybe he'd brighten up your day, too! The cardinal is Ohio's state bird for those of you in other places ~ of course, this is the male ~ the lady birds are very dull in color ~ I guess nature wants the males to be more showy ~ just like at my house!!!!

Today is a day of getting all the dishes put where they belong, putting the big Ligonier Sheep back on his sled in the middle of the dining table, laundering the napkins and placemats ~ so everything will be ready for the next little event! It's a gorgeous day today ~ good day to be outside! Actually, we will be tonite ~ another Little League game for two grandsons (on the same team, thank goodness) and there was one last night for Logan and Jordyn, brother and sister ~ T-Ball ~ first time for either of them!! It was better than a comedy club watching thirteen little duffers try to figure out the game of baseball!! Oh my ~ it was pretty entertaining, to say the least!!

That's it for today ~ enjoy yours!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Yes, Miss Luci ~ from last year's dancing chicken fame ~ was one of the "Aristocats" in this year's dance recital! Of course, she was the cutest kitty up there! And this had to be the longest dance recital ever!! Three hours and 15 minutes!!!!!!!! But it was all worth it to see our little kitten on the stage for what ~ maybe 5 minutes max!! She was so happy and the family will have such nice flowers to enjoy!! She has another one today ~ this grandma and grandpa will not be there!!! Because ~

Once again, I will be grocery shopping and cooking ~ for tomorrow's luncheon!! I do have the menu in my mind ~ finally!! Broccoli quiche (my friend, Carol's recipe!), muffins, 7 layer salad, rosemary lemonade and again ~ my Black Forest Cake!! When Anne, the lady who made the arrangements for this group called the other day, I'm sure I made her nervous when I said I didn't have the menu planned ~ I hope she reads my blog today so she'll know I really do have it under control! And I have some more planting to do ~ some pots and some accents of color here and there!

Friday night's dinner for six went well ~ at least from our perspective, it did!! They seemed to enjoy every morsel ~ the tenderloin got a tad more done that I would have liked but it was very tender and every scrap was was gone! It was a nice evening so we were able to have appetizers on the deck and that was very relaxing! The couple who got the winning bid on the dinner own a landscape and garden center so I wanted everything outside to make a nice presentation ~ and Wayne was very complimentary ~ and wanted to know where I got the beautiful flowers on the deck!! I was so happy to be able to tell him I got them from their place ~ ~ ~ thank goodness ~ that would have been embarrassing!! So we fed them well, gave the ladies a tour of the house (the men were talking about important things outside) and hopefully, a feast for their eyes! We know all three couples through business so it was a very fun evening and we applaud Wayne and Gail's generosity to our needy children's fund at a time when it's appreciated most!

Turkey report ~ Mama has laid yet one more egg ~ eleven now!! Won't this be fun?! So off to the task at hand and enjoy your Sunday wherever you are!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Just a short post to show you the lady in waiting! She's been on her nest since yesterday morning and is very tolerant of us looking over the brick wall ~ I've taken several pictures and started talking to her this morning!! I know ~ I need a life!! I don't have conversations with her but have said 'good morning, Mrs. turkey' several times!! I'm trying to befriend her ~ us girls have to stick together!!

One of the boys suggested we put a camera out there to film the 'coming out' party!! Sounds like a good idea ~ if we do, you'll be the first to see!!

No hooking the last couple of days ~ I think I burned myself out last week with the marathon hooking on the Coxcomb Basket! Yesterday, all those plants I bought got put in pots or in the ground ~ good thing, because we've had a wonderful rain all morning!

Next on my agenda is preparing for one of the dinners we auctioned off in November for our Homebuilders' fund for needy kids. Tomorrow night is the second one ~ dinner for 6 ~ guess I better figure out a menu, hm? We have a partial menu in our minds ~ grilled shrimp, waterchestnuts wrapped in bacon, tenderloin, sauteed mushrooms with bleu cheese and bacon crumbles, maybe a salad of spring greens, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes & balsamic dressing and my famous (not really) Black Forest cake! I think that might do it, actually! I have to go grocery shopping today and get flower baskets to adorn the deck ~ hope I find some nice ones today! Then on Monday, I have a group of gals coming for a luncheon and house tour!! I really don't have that menu figured out ~ hopefully, it will come to me soon!!!

Sounds like I have a lot to do ~ guess I better go do it!! Have a good day ~

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I was weeding in the garden behind the brick porch that connects the house and garage. I had been in that area about twenty minutes and when I stepped up onto the middle terrace ~ this huge TURKEY flew out practically right past my nose!!! As usual ~ I screamed ~ and ran ~ but I caught a glimpse of all these eggs!! I went up on the porch and looked down and right at the base of the wall is this nest ~ 10 turkey eggs ~ right outside our back door ~ that we are in and out of many times a day! Many thoughts run through my mind ~ are we going to have 10 baby turkeys running around the back garden all summer ~ am I going to grow attached to these little gobblers ~ how am I going to feel when our turkey-hunting sons want to put them on a platter for Thanksgiving dinner ~ and it goes on and on!! Actually, mama turkey did not come back until early this morning ~ I was up around 4 a.m., looked out our back stairway window and she wasn't there! By 6 a.m., she had returned!

One thing I am so thankful for is that in my running and screaming from the turkey flying by my face ~ is that I didn't fall. It was four years ago, the week before Memorial Day, that I ran from a bumble bee in THIS SAME GARDEN, fell over a rock and broke my ankle and was out of circulation for 9 weeks!!!!!!! When Sonny mentioned that last night, it made me cringe!!

I'll keep you posted on the Great Turkey Adventures!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It's a beautiful sunshiny day in Ohio ~ so this will be a quickie ~ if you can believe that! This is a stair riser pattern that I started last night ~ I loved the colors of the last rug and all those wools were spread out over the work table so ~ you'll be seeing them again! This is a pattern designed by Cindi Gay and is for a challenge at a local hook-in the end of June. Amazing that I would even think of doing it now ~ but it's the fact that all the wool is right in front of my face!

Yesterday, my friend, Donna and I went to about 6 greenhouses ~ we filled her car and mine with lots of pretty flowers ~ last night there was a frost warning so all had to covered for the night! I'm hoping to get some of these in pots yet today ~ half the day is gone already ~ wish I could manage my time better! So, off I go ~ will report more tomorrow!!
Have a good day ~ Alice

Friday, May 8, 2009


Yes ~ it is done!! The Gene Shepherd blog hook-in rug is finished! It was started Sunday evening
and completed this morning ~ I hooked till 2 a.m. last night and got up and hooked the last little bit and steamed it this morning! It will go to the lake with me for binding over the weekend ~ whew! I feel like I've been in a marathon!

In January, Gene proposed a blog hook-in and I was the first one to sign up! And about the last one to get it done! Gene was using the free Christmas pattern in December's Rug Hooking Magazine that was designed by Connie Litfin of Mustard Seed Primitives with the notation that it could be tweaked to suit each rug hooker. The holiday pattern didn't speak to me, but when Gene posted Connie, the designer's tweaked versions, I liked them both! Gene put me in touch with Connie to see how she wanted to handle it and she drew them out for me and shipped them to me that week! I pulled wools I thought I wanted to use but it didn't excite me. I got really motivated last week, when a friend brought me some sparkly wool that just opened up the creative gates and the color plan was born ~ almost on it's own! The flowers are all various paisleys that I've gathered and there are other sparkly wools that I think, really set it off! And the combination of blacks and greens really gave the background a lot of movement. I'll be emailing my photo to Gene this morning ~ I hope it measures up to all the other beautiful rugs that he's posted thus far!

Connie is sending me a few of these patterns on monks cloth and one of another similar design but with stars ~ it can be ordered in linen if you like and the size is 18" x 22" - a little info that might be important!! If you would like one, let me know ~ I'll have them available! And ~ by the way ~ this rug is for sale!! If you would like this to come live with you, email or call me ~ it would be a good thing!

This has been fun ~ we're heading for the lake and I think I'll take a book to read and not hook this weekend ~ I'll get the Coxcomb Basket bound and see my lake friends that we haven't seen since February and just relax!! I hope you can do the same and have a Happy Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Okay ~ this is yesterday's progress and actually some of today! We went to visit friends last night ~ got home at 11:15 ~ I went down and hooked for a while but just couldn't pull another loop. So I took some time today and finished the left quadrant! In my mind, I was going to be done by today ~ but my mind didn't know how busy I was!! I'll hook tonite and hopefully finish tomorrow ~ but I'm happy with the outcome!

I wanted to show you the front of our house with the ornamental trees in bloom ~ I say ornamental because I can't remember if they're weeping cherry or weeping crab apple ~ I'll know more as summer arrives!! The tree on the right, I planted from a seedling from the tree on the left ~ a landscaper friend of mine told me it would grow but would not blossom!!! Little did he know!!!! Honestly, I must have gotten lucky ~ but it's a pretty little tree on it's own ~ the blossoms are a lighter pink ~ and I can see it right from where I'm sitting now ~ so it's a good thing!!!!

That's it for today ~ way behind on office work ~ thank goodness there's office work to do!! I got out to the garden a while this morning ~ no one would even be able to tell what I did ~ it's a jungle out there folks!!!! Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This rug is coming along so well ~ I'm actually thrilled with way the background is developing ~ and it's me doing the color plan!! The plan was to use 3 different blacks and a dark green kind of found it's way in and then, when I was hooking late last night, I decided to add a more deep color of black ~ and it seems to give a richness to the background ~ I'm not sure it comes across on the photo as much as in person ~ but it's looking good! There wasn't a lot of the dark hand-dyed green so I cut it all into strips (a 9 cut) and divided it into fours ~ that way there would be enough for each quadrant of the background ~ sometimes I think I might be getting a handle on this!!

These are photos (taken with my cell phone) from last week's hook-in in Akron. Some were not very clear, so if you don't see your rug here ~ it's because the old girl couldn't hold her phone still!!! This is Karen's finished runner ~ really nice ~ and I think she designed it herself, using various elements from different rugs that she really likes!

Carole's hooking is in a fine cut and this piece, to quote one of the gals, looks like stained glass ~ everything very precise! And the colors ~ so soft.
This rug looks like painting! I told the artist, Kay Forbush, that she is a 'fine' hooker ~ she laughed ~ thank God! The reflections of the house and the boat on the water are just perfect and the shading of the big tree is so beautiful. That's the advantage the traditional rug hooker has over us primitive people ~ they can get such detail in color and design!

Noreen is hooking this rug with three cats each holding a star ~ it's going to be a great piece! This cat just spoke to me ~ well, not really ~ but you know what I mean! Doesn't he have a great face?
And lastly, my girlfriend, Donna is working on this chair pad ~ cute rooster!! I hear that some of what she hooked that day has already come out and a new, more pleasing color has been hooked back in!! Not this kid ~ I don't like to reverse hook!! Thanks, Donna, for letting me pick on you ~ Donna hooks beautifully and has created really nice rugs and she's a good friend!

So that's all for today, folks! So much to do and so little time ~ well, I have time ~ I don't manage it very well!! Onward and upward!! Have a good day and I hope you get to do something that pleases you today!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This rug is making me very happy!! Color planning is a challenge for me ~ I pulled several wools for this rug when I first decided to take part in Gene's blog hook-in ~ but I haven't used most of them!! The colors were really guided by some sparkly wool that I have and then the idea to use some wonderful paisleys for the flowers really helped move this along! I had hoped to finish it today but I think it will be tomorrow ~ stay tuned!

Just wanted to include some pictures of the garden ~ the forget-me-nots and ajuga are really pretty in this terraced area behind the house. We have been here almost 16 years and Sonny built this garden carrying all the rocks up from along the creek and in the woods ~ what a guy!! No doubt, he used his tractor or a wheelbarrow but you know what I mean!!

This little grouping is comprised of wildflowers that came from our woods ~ wild phlox, trillium and solomon seal mixed in with hostas ~ in the background you can see what looks like a rock ~ it's called 'puddingstone' and is left from when the glacier swept across this area!

Just a shot of some tulips among the iris ~ we don't have many tulips ~ I've planted many thru the years but I think the moles or the voles or varmits of some sort eat them for lunch!! I just love this time of year when things start blooming and everything is turning so green. It truly is a sign of new life and rebirth ~ it's really uplifting after the long, long winter we had here in Ohio! I can't wait to start my little
'greenhousing' trips with my friends!

I'm off to garden or hook ~ wonder which it will be?! Have a good day~

Monday, May 4, 2009


I've started on this little rug that is for Gene Shepherd's online blog hook-in. True to form ~ for me ~ on Gene's January 21st blog posting, I ~ Alice ~ was the first one to commit to being part of this project ~ and true to form ~ I just started this yesterday!!! If I am to have a chance at being in his article for RHM, this has to be finished and the picture sent to him by next week!! This is the way I live my life ~ remember my 'one little word' for the year ~ CHANGE? Well, so far, I haven't even taken a baby step!

And this is a picture of a 'good thing' as Martha Stewart says! This Coach purse was GIVEN to me yesterday by my friend, Rita ~ a wild woman, by the way!!!!! Such a generous person, she is ~ and I felt tons better when she told me it was a 'knock-off' that she got on her recent trip to Florida!!! I'm not very discerning about such things and when I opened it and saw Coach ~ I nearly croaked!! She kept me from nearly expiring by 'fessing up' and telling me that she bought these for four of her friends and that she had so much fun picking and choosing!! Far be it from me to ruin her fun ~ so I accepted it graciously (for me) and considered it one of my lessons in learning to be a good receiver!! I'm open to receiving all the abundance the universe has to offer and abundance comes in myriad ways!!!! Thank you, dear friend!!!

And now ~ I must hook!! Have a good day ~ Alice

P.S. I find it quite weird that just after I posted this and talked about abundance, that the most recent blog listing at the left was about that very thing!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

TODAY ~ ~ ~

I took another polymer clay class from Lori Wilkes at our local Art Center. We made these heart pins ~ this is a picture of all the ones we made today ~ a nice size class of seven really creative gals ~ at least we felt like it when we left!!!!!! Mine is the third from the left on the top row ~ I can't say I'm crazy about the color combo ~ but you really don't know what you're going to get till it's done!! Or at least, I didn't!
With the left over 'canes' that we made (that's the little circle designs ~ each one is a cane) I sliced off a couple of thicker slabs, put holes in them and made buttons ~ and one bead. Actually, I want to use the buttons on purses that I'll make ~ kind of cute, don't you think? The pictures were taken with my cell phone ~ not as clear as I would have liked but since the camera was here at home, the phone pix were a good substitute!

So that's my short post for today ~ going to join my son's family for Mexican fare to celebrate grandson, Luke's 10th birthday!! Hard to believe that guy is that old!!
Have a good evening ~ Alice

Friday, May 1, 2009

WE'RE BACK ~ ~ ~

From our trip to Seattle!! What a whirlwind five days! One of those days was spent at the Tulip Festival about two hours north of where the kids live ~ and I believe everybody in Western Washington was there!! The traffic to get there was unbelievable ~ the exit ramps off I-5 were backed up just trying to get to the tulip fields! These were some of the fields of tulips with daffodils in the background.

My son thought it would be nice to have a photo of the parents crouched down among the posies!! Crouching is easier said than done for this old girl!! It was more like a hunker and hanging on to the old guy for dear life ~ it's a wonder we weren't laying in between the rows!

This is the very photogenic family that we went to visit ~ my son, Chris, and his wife Coni and kids Hunter, Haylee and Hannah!! It was actually hard to get these photos in among the blooms, because they had what I called the 'tulip police' running around, waving these flags on sticks, shouting 'get out of the flowers ~ get out of the flowers'!!! It was hysterical ~ there were way too many people to govern so as soon as the TP's went to another field, everybody hopped back into the rows to snap away!!!!!

This bridge is out on Whidby Island, which is, I guess, where we were for the Tulip Festival ~ in the area of Anacortes and Mt. Vernon ~ which is a charming looking little town! The bridge is over Deception Pass and we walked out on it ~ pretty darned scary, if you ask me!! I could hardly look down into the water. It has historical significance in that some explorer was sent this way with his boats and it was very treacherous to get through.
Part of the treachery were all these whirlpools ~ if I remember what we read on a posting there, the water from the land converges with the water from the sea and we could just see all these pools of whirling water ~ it looks like it could be quite a boat ride!! There were sightseeing boats going through there ~ it wasn't on my 'to do' list for sure ~ but very picturesque to see!

So that was our Sunday adventure ~ very fun to see all the beautiful fields of tulips ~ and the pictures don't begin to show all the people who were there ~ it was quite a day ~ and nice to do a family thing ~ something they might not have done, if we hadn't been visiting! So that was a good thing!! More later!