The plane got in on Sunday night about 6. I only had a couple of days to actually spend in Illinois visiting with my family this trip as the return flight would leave at about 7 on Wednesday morning.
Monday my family from the Bourbonnais area came down and joined us for lunch. That group is comprised of brother Dave, wife Ann and their adult children Allison and Drew. Allison's cocker spaniel Sophie joined us too.
I don't think that Drew normally would be wearing a hat but Dad had just given him some from his Fasking Hat collection, a former service station in their small town. All that fabric in front of him on the table?? Civil War prints that we would mail back to me--at the time 160.00 worth and all half yards!! The woman it belonged to is now in the nursing home and her husband has given Mom a good bit of fabric the past couple of years since he knows she makes donation quilts.
Here is the "grand"dog. Allison is a nurse and works 12 hour shifts so Sophie spends a bit of time at Dave and Ann's. Not sure if this was before or after Sophie's rooting in my knitting bag in the living room and finding that chocolate muffin that I had tossed in there Sunday morning before we headed to the airport. Drew had to clean up after her.
This is the mandevilla plant that Dad had gotten to put on DJ's grave site. He had planted it in the ground only to find out that the cemetery would prefer that not be done. He dug it up and brought it home where it has continually bloomed, they said. Lovely plant and I appreciate the effort. Dad and I had made a trip out to the grave site and also looked at some of the headstones. He will look into pricing for the various styles and hopefully but the next trip back I can go see them personally at Pontiac Granite. I should have gotten some sort of temporary marker on there but I honestly do not recall having that part of the conversation with the funeral home.
I had hoped to make connections with DJ's son and daughter-in-law Monday evening but they must have been unavailable. There was such a small window to meet up anyway this trip.
I borrowed the car on Tuesday to meet up with Diane in north Normal. We were off to lunch at the American Harvest Eatery in Springfield. Well, not without making a couple of wrong turns first. Approaching it from a different route sort of messed Diane up I think because we did not run by Blake and his bride Julia's home first. They live and work in Springfield and this is probably their favorite spot to eat. They know the waiter well enough that he knows THEM by name and they refer to him as their waiter, even giving him a Christmas present. Julia lived near there when she and Blake were first getting together. Blake is a "foodie" and an adventurous cook so if you look at the menu on the link, you may see why they enjoy it so much. Diane got a couple meals to go for her daughter Kristine and son-ion -law Andy as we were headed their next.
I had not met Julia before Tuesday. They married in Denver as well back in October 2012. When I was back in IL in October 2013, they were gone to Japan to visit her sister and her husband. Then she was working ( a nurse practitioner) in February when we had the funeral service and Blake stood in for them both. A short visit but now we each can put a face to the name when it pops up in email or on Facebook. I am happy that we had the chance to meet. They seem well suited and happy in their marriage.
Next we were off across the Illinois countryside as Kristine, Andy and baby Lily live a bit north of Champaign-Urbana, off I-74. I missed Andy as he was at work and we had to leave for our next stop about the time he would be getting home. But the ladies had been to the pediatrician before we arrived. She was just a day shy of 6 weeks and was up to almost 9 lbs from her birth weight.
Nana Diane took this picture of the two of us in front of the Storm at Seas wall hanging I had made for the nursery.
Here we are getting acquainted in the living room before I had to hand her back to Nana. Then I got to play with their dog Sidney tossing her toys about a bit. I need to find Oscar some like those as they looked fairly tear proof!
Next stop---back to Bloomington and Schooner's for some of their onion rings and a pizza pan sized tenderloin. They just ask how many buns to you need and slice it up accordingly. From gourmet food to bar food, LOL but man, do I miss those onion rings when I live about 700 miles from the best ones! I hate the breaded kind and these are battered fried and totally not good for you. Maybe it is a good thing then?? Joining us for dinner was our youngest brother Phil, wife Jen and niece Elizabeth. Ted and Laura both had practice for the sport they are each involved in. Their oldest son John is a college man in Missouri State in Springfield, MO and he had already left for school.
Jen and I discovered that we are on the same flight out of Bloomington and the Central Illinois Regional airport the next morning. My American flight back to Atlanta routed me through DFW first while Jen was headed on to the Austin area to visit with her best friend Martha. I was a few rows up and across the aisle and we had to split up for the skyway trams for the next leg of the journey. Still, I got an extra hug out of the deal!
I got to Hartsfeld airport by noon my time meeting Jane and Hugh in American's baggage claim area. Initially we thought we might stop at Five Guys for a burger but could not locate the restaurant in the mess of strip mall buildings. However, Jason's Deli off Camp Point Parkway was probably a better choice anyway. Not far from the off airport parking area we use too.
I walked in the door here at home about 4 p.m. with a cat and dog who seemed happy to see me. Of course, they were both vying for my attention. Glynda had kept them apart as much as possible keeping the gate up between the kitchen and living room. She was surprised to see just how aggressive Skyler acts around the dog. Frankly, I am too as he is a cat without front claws.
At one point that first evening home I was another room, found Oscar had knocked the gate down between hallway and the living room, crawling under it. I did not have to look too long to find out where he had gotten to. Just follow the yipping, hissing, snarling, barking and yowling. They were BOTH under the bed in the master bedroom. Oscar was however, the only one who came out when called. The next day, the cross bar broke on the baby gate. He went back in his crate and I was off to Walmart for another gate, pronto, this time from the pet department. It does seem to be working better.
The other more recent Oscar story? We were out walking in the other day when before I could stop him, he picked up a dead mouse we had not seen on our earlier trip. I think it was one of Kit Kit's "toys" that she tired of playing with. Mice freak me out to begin with and the sight of it with part of the head stuck out one side of the jaw and the tail sticking out the other about did me in. He absolutely would not spit it out---that might have upped the gross factor anyway. I think he chomped it down or he may have hidden parts of it by one of the azalea bushes. I kept him in the kitchen area hoping he would not hack it up. I worried if he had gotten a hold on one that had been poisoned, would he get sick too. Would he be pooping out fur and bones the next day's walks or obvious remains? UCK!! So far he seems to have had no ill effect and that was on Saturday.
I want to thank my sisters for arranging the trip, Jane and Hugh for taking me over and bringing me back from Atlanta, the Belles for the birthday gift of trip spending money and my neighbors for tending to the critters and keeping an eye things at home. A special thanks to Diane for arranging such a wonderful day with family and a special shout-out to my parents for the bed and the use of the car providing that place to come "home" to. I love and appreciate you all more than you will ever know.
Next time out some notes about the guild sew-in and the Bama Belles meeting probably. This is by the way, my 1300th post. I began blogging in February 2006. Still at it 8 1/2 year later so I guess I DO find things to talk about. THX for stopping by----------------------