Saturday, December 2, 2017

Christmas Village, 2017

The village is up and running! We have four trains this year, like last year. Polar Express train stops at the train station. The Circus train inspired us to create a circus. If you turn on the sound on the video you can hear the locomotive chugging. Life is good!


The circus is in the same place as last year. We had to repair the ferris wheel this year. The ferris wheel, carousel and skating pond all make music. The noise bothers my senses so I have most of it turned off.

The farm is s bit smaller than last year.



The new boat looks great--we had to retire old Bessie last year.


City Hall, Police station and fire station have a new home.





The planetarium is in the fireplace as usual, moon shining bright.




I redid the mountains this year with a hot wire sculpting knife.





The village takes over the entire living room every year. But we like it that way! We have a new 12 days of Christmas scavenger hunt, and the grandchildren found all of them!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 14, 2017. Rosie the Riveter

A couple of months ago I read an article in the Detroit Free Press asking for people to amass in Ypsilanti to take back the Guiness World Record for the largest number of Rosie the Riveters in one place since World War II.Last August Richmond California surpassed the previous record set here in 2015 by gathering 2,229 Rosies.

I put the word out to friends and family members; this was important to me, since my mother worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant during the war.  I had several positive responses to my plea, and six of us went to Eastern Michigan University to be a part of the competition. My sister Rana, old friend Julie, daughter Alison, granddaughter Delia and Delia's friend Danica all jumped at the chance to be a Rosie. The event was free, but tickets were required and there were costume checkers at the point of entry. We all passed muster.


Above are Rana, Danica, me, Delia, Alison, and Julie on the floor. Julie's grandmother also worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant.


We did special three generational photos.


The young Rosies struck a pose.


 And the sisters.


At 11:00 AM we lined up in the corridor and slowly snaked our way to the entry where we were counted before entering, and while entering the arena. Once inside we had to pass through a turnstile counter and were given a numbered tag and seated in groups of fifty. Each group of 50 had a warden.


There were speakers and inspirational videos. I looked closely at the old footage from the factory but did not see my mom. Two men in yellow shirts came up on stage to make the count official. Finally it was announced: we beat the record set in California last year by over 1,200 Rosies! We were 3,755 strong, including over 50 women who actually worked at Willow Run Bomber Plant! There were Rosies from 6 weeks old to 110 years old. I was proud to stand up and be counted among them!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 26, 2017. Dubuque to Sabula, IA. 45 Miles.

It was a little difficult getting out of Dubuque this morning. The maps app on our phones kept trying to make us go to Illinois! Finally we got out of town and on the right road.


Olde Davenport road d 230th Avenue both had no shoulder and very little traffic. The route was among the Iowa farm fields, with plenty of rolling hills to make it interesting.


We encountered some construction, but were given permission to pass through the short construction zone. Bill and Doris went around on gravel roads and met us at the end of the detour. We were very fortunate in that the road which had had little traffic now had none!



We traveled on Iron Bridge Road which, of course, had an iron bridge!



After the town of Prescott we were riding on Hwy 64 East and found it delightful! It was newly blacktopped and striped, and still there was very little traffic. We saw several tractor junkyards along the route today.

We also passed some horse farms today. These friendly guys came out to see us when we called to them.


This road was the best! We were on it for 15 miles near the end of our ride--the pavement was new and what little traffic there was watched out  for us. The hills were sweet... I did not overheat my rims this day--I let my speed get up to 35 MPH for a change, without fretting about it.



Bill and Doris were waiting for us at Driscoll's Island, about a mile short of our destination. The trailer was open and we were told to load our bikes.



Diana took a photo of Tom and me as we cruised to the end of the ride. I took Dianne's photo as she came in. We are all amazed at the summer weather we've had for the last 10 days. What a great trip!


We are staying at the Sabula  Castle B and B; three of our group had to go a block away to stay at another property held by the same owner. We all got together at the castle for pizza and wine this evening.


September 25, 2017. Guttenburg to Dubuque, IA. 31 miles.



This morning we walked to Mike's Fish Shack for breakfast. This little restaurant has no sign, and it really used to be a fish shack! Mike told us he was working by himself this morning and he hoped we were not in a hurry...


We ordered coffee and water, and family style scrambled eggs and toast, and by the time he was done cooking it his help had arrived. We had a great time there, listening to stories of old Guttenburg. We walked back to The Landing and got ready to leave.


The Landing used to be a button factory, and a button press and clamshells that have been "buttoned" still exist here.



We drove out of town about 5 miles before starting our ride. Here we are with the Iowa countryside behind us.

We did not much like riding on highway 52. There were a lot of trucks, and while they gave us plenty of room, they did not slow down any. 


Tom, Diana and Fred were ahead of Dianne, Dennis and me when my phone navigation told me to turn on Thunder Rd. We stopped and tried to call them, but failed to connect. Then we called Bill and Doris and told them where we were. The three of them kept on where they were, on the highway. We continued on Thunder Rd. It started to cloud up, and then we felt a slight mist--it never rained on us, but we got to see a rainbow in the misty sunshine.



We found out later that the other three riders got caught in a downpour!


We all met up again at Rickardsville, where we had a snack break.



My phone told me to get on a bike trail, but it was dirt, so we did not. We stayed on the highway 52 all the rest of the way into Dubuque. The photo below is representative of the road: a curve with a 6% grade, falling rock warning and rumble strips on what little shoulder there was!



Diana and I saw this old police car in Durango.


We were supposed to meet Bill and Doris for a lunch stop before Dubuque, but did not see them along the route. We rode right to the Redstone Inn.  It was too early to check in, so we loaded the bikes, found a parking place for the trucks and trailer, and walked to lunch.


After lunch most of us walked to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. We stayed there a couple of hours, but it could have been an all day excursion!



I walked to the Harbor District, because I wanted to see the Shot Tower, which was used during the Civil War to make lead shot from locally mined galena. It was a long walk.




Finally I walked back to the Redstone Inn to check us in. Robert, who checked us in, was totally amazed--he said "this has never happened before; I have 6 rooms for Linda Tilley, another 2 rooms for Linda (different last name) and 3 rooms for Roger! All of my rooms are let to Linda and Roger!" 


I saw the Delorean car (complete with flux capacitor) in the parking lot when I went to get my bag. I found out later that it was part of a television show they were filming here to publicize missing children.


After showers and rest, we all walked to the Cable Car. Most of us took it to the top of the bluff.





Diana took our photo in the car. Bill and Dianne were waiting for us at ground level.


We walked to dinner, and then stopped for ice cream. While in the ice cream store Bill struck up a conversation with Lisa after she hailed us on the street and told us it was the best ice cream ever. When she asked where we were staying and he said the Redstone Inn, she told us they were the "Rogers" and we must be the "Lindas" that Robert told them about! We all had a good laugh. Here they are, still smiling about our encounter.


By the end of the day I had walked 7.3 miles and climbed 14 flights of stairs, in my sandals, in addition to the bike ride. I am very much done.