Friday, July 29, 2005

At Pap and Grandma's House

Sweet Baby E and her mom and dad joined us. Here she is with Miss B.

And the blueberries were ripe, so we all gorged ourselves. Pap even sent a huge bucket home with us on ice.

Roadside America

On our drive from Staten Island to Westmoreland County, Barry stopped at a little place not too far from Stroudsburg, PA, that he remembered visiting as a little boy. It is Roadside America, an amazing model railroad setup that is still operated as a tourist attraction by the descendants of the man who set it all up. (He died in 1963.) It's just one big room with walkways around the edge so that you can see the whole setup.

It's hard to describe, but it's worth the stop if you're ever around the area. It's hokey and mushy and cute. Every half hour they make everybody come sit on risers and watch as they make "night" come to the railroad village; the room lights dim, tiny street lights come on, homes light up, then as the room becomes darker, the house lights go out once more and the landscape sleeps except for the trains which go on and on. Come "morning," the street lights come off, house lights come on, and the "sky" begins to lighten up with daybreak.

Two cute little old ladies were running the place when we arrived. If I understand it correctly, one of them is the daughter of the gentleman who built the display.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Staten Island University Hospital

Lil Miss A got her sutures out at the hospital here in Staten Island. It hurt, but she was brave. She brought two of her stitches back with in a plastic bag to show Daddy.

In the curtain area next to her, she heard a man who had cut his arm badly on a broken fence moaning in pain, and she prayed for him right there on the spot. He was encouraged and said he felt better immediately, and thereafter everyone who came to care for him got to hear about the sweet little girl who had prayed for him.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Travel blogging

I'm writing this from a very busy street corner in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where I found a sweet spot from the Hilton down the block, I think it is. We have begun a new family tradition of having to take SOMEBODY to the emergency room the night before we leave on any vacation; this year it was Little Miss A's turn. She fell off her trike and lacerated her chin, mashing pea gravel and a few blades of grass into the mess while she was at it. Six stitches later, it was about 10:00 at night and we were too zonked to trust ourselves to pack properly, so we got a pretty late start on the road Saturday, but we did make it out the door and the trip since then has gone very well.

Tomorrow we head back across the border and down through the Finger Lakes region, planning on arriving at Wayne and Roseann's house on Staten Island by nightfall.

Pictures later.

UPDATE: Here are some pictures:

Blue Man Group? No, the Stahl Family, wearing our souvenir slickers on the Maid of the Mist.

They get you incredibly close to the bottom of the falls!

Our Maid of the Mist.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A blonde joke

A blonde calls her boyfriend on the phone and says, "Honey, I need you to come over. I'm doing a puzzle and I really need help."

The boyfriend asks, "What kind of a puzzle?"

The blonde replies, "It's a jigsaw puzzle; it's supposed to be a tiger."

The boyfriend agrees to come over and help. A little while later, he arrives at her house, and she motions for him to come into the kitchen. There, he finds that she has pieces scattered all over the table.

The boyfriend says, "Honey, sit down. Now - the first thing we need to do is put all the Frosted Flakes back in the box..."

An outfit for Anne Shirley

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I'm trying to decide what sort of blouse Anne here needs. I'm thinking white cotton, long sleeves, with a Peter Pan collar and either pintucks or tiny red rickrack down the front.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ahem... Just what do they think I've been doing for 25 years?

Drug running? International trading, perhaps? Marrying Donald Trump?

I just got the invitation to our 25-year high school reunion in the mail. Get this: It's at the University Club at the U of M St. Paul campus, and they are serving hors d'oevres and there is a cash bar.

The ticket price is $35.

Per person. Not per couple.

Thirty-five bucks for... what? A few weenies on toothpicks?

That's it. I'm not going.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It's Raining Teeth

Last trip to the orthodontist, K. got sent home with wires only on his front brackets. The orthodontist told him that his molars were just about to fall out, and that K. should try to get them out so that his new teeth would grow in; the wires were about the only thing keeping them in.

Sunday, K. got serious about them and wiggled 3 molars out within about an hour! It was raining teeth around here!

Barry says, "I tried, too, but I only got one of mine out."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Fellowship Hour

The first Sunday of every month, our church takes communion, and after services, one family volunteers to provide snacks for a fellowship hour. We signed up for today. Our pastor announced the event with, "As usual, the Stahls got carried away, and there is a whole meal out in the narthex after church. Please stay."

I'm afraid he's right. The tithe on Barry's bonus bought a feast. Barry did a tropical fruit platter of fresh pineapple, two varieties of coconut, and mango; we had a bowl of fresh-picked strawberries from a local grower; there were snow peas with dill dip; there were plenty of smoked turkey sandwiches; and there were little cookies with flags embedded in them (thank you Pillsbury) and a giant Hershey's chocolate bar to chop pieces from. Also punch and coffee. The day was a huge success despite the fact that we had counted on picnicing and had set up tables all over the church's newly planted lawn, only to have it start pouring about 2/3 of the way through Pastor's sermon. So everybody just crammed in and got cozy.

The punch was a variation of what we served at our wedding: Lemon-lime soda and fruit juice, with scoops of rainbow sherbert bobbing around in the punch.

There were lots of leftovers so guess what we'll be living on for the rest of the week?

Mom in a Kayak

Yesterday was a lovely day for early July - breezy, not too hot, partly cloudy. Just wonderful. Our friends the Fruechtes called and asked if we would go canoeing with them on the Upper Iowa River on the spur of the moment. We tend to be a bit ponderous to do spur-of-the-moment, but we did it anyway, and it was a wonderful day!

I got to try kayaking for the first time and I'm hooked. I had no idea how quick and agile a kayak can be, even in the hands of the most rank of amateurs. It's so intuitive. I would think about going over there and zap, there I would be, over there. There were a number of extremely large, drunken parties of inner tubers floating down the river dumping empty beer cans all over the place, and I amused myself by zipping around on the river picking up those fallen soldiers so that they could be recycled rather than glopping up the beautiful river.

I want a kayak. One of my own. To keep. :)