Saturday, January 31, 2009

January in Michigan
Today is the last day of January and we've had a cold and snowy winter thus far. After spending the first week of January in Florida with Steve and Marta, we returned home and burrowed in for cold and snowy days. This winter has been colder and snowier than many winters in my memory.
The picture shows the view of our backyard from the family room window. Can you see the animal tracks in the snow? We are sharing our surroundings with lots of deer, rabbits, squirrels, and probably some other animals. I can see a kind of walking trail in our backyard that small animals are using, maybe in their hunt for food which has to be pretty hard unless they stored some away for the winter.
I've been reading (6 books during January), sewing (working on two baby quilts), and knitting (a clapotis scarf for Cathy which should have been done by Christmas but which I finished yesterday, and a cardigan for me, all done but the sleeves.) My January life is so different from the other seasons because it's very easy to stay in the house. I love to take walks outside but have decided that if the temperature is much below 20 degrees, it's just too uncomfortable. We go to our exercise class at the community college so we try to stay fit even in the winter. I'm thinking in another month I can start to look for crocus popping up in the yard.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Steve and Gabe had haircuts today. We were proud of Gabe because he didn't cry. (Steve didn't cry either!)

Another view of the beach:

Hollywood Beach
Today we went to North Hollywood Beach Park in Hollywood, Florida. It was a perfect day with mild temperatures as you can see in the above video.
Tomorrow we begin the 1450 mile drive north to return home. I am sad to leave Steve, Marta, and Gabriel; we had such a wonderful time with them.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Today we enjoyed going to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. We began with a walk of the 200 acre park along meandering paths with carefully placed trees, flowers, and bushes along ponds and small rivers. A rock garden, bonsai display, and a bamboo forest can be seen. The purpose of the garden is "the essence of Japan in Florida". Indoors is a museum displaying Japanese art, tapestries, and the history of a colony of Japanese immigrants to Florida over 100 years ago.

We also enjoyed our bento box lunch:

More pictures are here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Old Friends
Tony and Al became friends while studying for their doctorates in mathematics in the early 60's, a turbulent and exciting time on American university campuses. Along with many other students, they lived in the same graduate student residence. They were friends even before Tony met me. When we married, Tony chose Al to be his best man at our wedding in 1965. Later Al took a position as professor at one of the state universities in New York. With Al's encouragement Tony joined Al on that faculty so our little family, which then included our two sons, spent a couple of years in the early 70's at that university. When we learned that Al, now retired, spends his winters in Florida, we hoped to get together with him. Today we had a happy lunch with the two old friends catching up on over 40 years of memories.

Monday, January 05, 2009

First Days
Steve's first day at his new job:

Gabe's first day at his new school:

Saturday, January 03, 2009

It was another beautiful day in Florida.
Here's Gabe under the coconut tree. There is a park like area just outside Steve and Marta's apartment with walking paths, beautiful landscaped areas, swimming pools, lagunas, and play parks.This evening we went to a Spanish restaurant and enjoyed tapas.

Gabe is a fan of superheroes and is really inspired by his Spiderman pajamas. While wearing them, he runs around energetically performing superhero feats.
Marta in her new kitchen.
Gabe relaxing in front of the TV.
Some ducks were looking for a snack in front of the apartment.
Marta and Gabe together.
To Florida!
Out of the icy coldness of Michigan and on to the warmth and sunshine of Florida. Everything went very smoothly yesterday for our travel with Tony, Gabe, and Marta, starting with our early morning drive to the airport, helped by my friend Dee. Usually we use our own car but this time Steve had gone ahead with our minivan transporting Coco their dog who could not go on the plane.
The flight to Fort Lauderdale was on time and very smooth. Gabe at 4 years old is such an experienced traveler having flown many times since he was a baby. He was very cute trying to take care of me. "Grandma, don't be scared. This is how you put on your seat belt......" In Ft. Lauderdale we went by rental car, arriving soon in Weston, the town where Steve and Marta are going to live. We are now at the corporate apartment which they will have for three months and it is beautiful and comfortable. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and is arranged so that it feels very spacious.
Steve and Coco arrived by early evening after a 1400 mile drive in our minivan, picking up Tom in Cincinnati to help with driving and then dropping him off in Orlando where he has been staying with Kelly's family. Steve was a little tired but considering all, in pretty good shape. Now we have Saturday and Sunday to explore and then Steve starts his new job on Monday.

Friday, January 02, 2009

We're going to Florida for a few days to help Marta, Steve, and Gabe with their move. Steve will start his new job there on Monday, Gabe will start with his new school, and Marta has an appointment with a new doctor very soon. Their baby will arrive in about 5 weeks.
Yesicka and the girls visited last evening. Above see Marta with Yesicka.

Here's Gabe with Ann Marie and Mary Jo. They enjoyed playing together.