Friday, November 28, 2008

Fun with plates in West Virginia

For Pat's birthday present, we traveled to the Fiestaware factory and store in Newell, West Virginia which is right across the Ohio river from East Liverpool, Ohio. This year our friends Sarah and Bill Gann joined us in the adventure.We took a private toll bridge over the river. The bridge has no on or off ramp to speak of. One end of the bridge is at the end of a street in a residential neighborhood. The other end juts into a highway. The stop light that has us waiting over the Ohio River is sorta disconcerting.

Illinois river towns are right on the water with levies and flood walls around them. Newell and East Liverpool are built on what this transplanted flatlander thinks of as mountains. Sarah and Bill, who are native Ohioans, just chuckle when I talk about the terrain.

Once we arrived at the Fiestaware plant the real work began. Everyone had an assigned job. Pat and Sarah worked their lists. Bill and I carried stuff. I had the additional jobs of finding stuff that wasn't on the list and asking Pat if we could use them and keeping a pictorial record of the event for posterity. The staff at the store was very helpful. The store was very busy. The trip was a success. After shopping we stopped by a local cafe for a great lunch.

Does the bridge look level?

Waiting on the bridge! It's a long way down.

Pat in a pensive moment.

The plan's on the yellow sheet of paper.

Pat, how about this one?

Pat and Sarah discussing the finer points of Fiestaware.

Now we get 12 of this one and 24 of that one and ...

What are they looking at?

This river tug was a pleasent surprise.

The Sonata has a bigger trunk than I thought.

East Liverpool from the West Virginia side of the river

After a hard day of plate hunting, a little lunch

A short video record

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the boys are glad to have Sarah home

They went nuts when Sarah pulled into the driveway. And will wander the house for a week when she goes back to Chicago. Katie and Sean, hope you're having a great time in San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We live in one of the snow belts. If the snow comes from the west or northwest, it hits us. Five miles north of us there's no snow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cub fan and Christmas lights

Yea, that's me with instructions in my hands. Some might say that it goes counter to everything I normally do. I prefer to think that age has made me wiser. And it is a really cool shot that Pat took. We didn't put our 11 foot tree up last year because you need a ladder and it kept sinking in the grass. This year we decided to put it together on the driveway and move it into place. See, I told you that age equals wisdom. Four strands of lights didn't work. We looked at all the bulbs and couldn't find any broken ones. To make up for the broken lights we strung some of the extra lights we had left over from the wedding. It looks pretty cool. This is the first year we lit up the side yard. The deer and Mr. Penguin are new additions to the back yard this year. We are about half way done so far. Now before you ask, Pat and I are still on the safe side of going too far. Everything we do with lights is done in good taste. We don't use any inflatables, no Santas and no Jesus without Elvis scenes. All we use are lights.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It snowed on and off all Friday. On our way home, we noticed that the snow looked worse the farther south we got. Talk shifted from taking the boys for a walk to digging out. We turned the corner on Red Oak resigned to digging out when we noticed Jimmy's car in the driveway. Then we saw that the driveway was clear. What a wonderful son we have.
And even with all the snow, the backyard offers some nice garden pics.