Saturday, July 27, 2013

Busy summer

We've been so busy lately it's been difficult to find time to write.  So here's a quick catch up...

First, some things that just can't be explained...

Just another afternoon on the Monon Trail
We were sitting at the Monon Food Company having lunch on a very hot summer day, and along comes a wagon train along the trail.  No signs of protest or signs showing what they were doing, so we never did figure this one out.

This just with dark glasses in front of bank
And as we drove into Evansville this week, we saw a VERY LARGE RUBBER DUCKIE sitting outside a bank.  Who knows?

And as you have come to expect, here are the latest plant and flower photos...

My beautiful hibiscus plant finally bloomed!

Summer squash
And we have garden produce!  After all the travails of planting squash (building a garden because containers would be too small, setting up irrigation for the garden and building a fence to keep out rabbits), we finally picked our first squash.  It was wonderful, sliced and baked with a dusting of oregano, basil and garlic powder.

And it continues to be a great summer visiting friends and family.

With Ruth on Monon Trail

My friend Ruth drove over from Des Moines to visit for a few days.  We enjoyed biking at Eagle Creek Park, along the canal from the Art Museum to the Monon Trail and around  the neighborhood.  We also enjoyed some wonderful meals including long evenings sitting on the porch with some wine and lots of stories!  It was great to have some quality time together to catch up on life.

And we made a quick trip Southern Indiana to visit family.  One of the highlights was a sightseeing tour with mom which felt like days when I was a kid and our family went for a drive on Sunday afternoons.  We saw the new Mt. Vernon waterfront, Hovey Lake and the locks and dam.  And of course we got to update Mike on a few stories along the way...

And while we were enjoying a great family meal at my mom's house, we got to see a great storm move in...
Wheat field before the storm

Killer clouds

Strange evening sky

We also spent some great pool time with our friends Kevin and Kathy during a quick weekend trip to Illinois.  

And then there was an amazing Ian Anderson Concert at the Murat in downtown Indy.  He played music from Thick as a Brick I and II albums (the second album was just released in 2012).  This is our third Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull concert over the years, and he is simply an amazing flautist and song writer!

So now we're back home again with some garage work underway...namely creating room for cars and bikes by organizing and moving stuff.  And as you can see there is a lot of work ahead!

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Discovering Indy-The Ruins at Holliday Park

Races of Mankind sculpture at "The Ruins"

We discovered a great little gem in the city last week.  Holliday Park.  Last Thursday our friend John asked us to attend a free evening concert by  at Holliday Park.  The weather was fantastic, it was live music and it was free.  Of course we said yes!

The story of "The Ruins" in Holliday Park starts in the late 1800's.  International sculptor Karl Bitter designed the "Races of Mankind" sculpture in the late 1890's which was originally installed on a building in NY city.  When the sculpture was later removed from the NY building, there was a competition among U.S. cities to design a home for the sculpture.  Indianapolis won the competition with Artist Elmer Taflinger's design of "The Ruins",  complete with columns, pillars, statues and fountains.

As Mike and I walked around the park, standing next to "The Ruins" transported me back to college days of exploring the Acropolis and other Greek ruins.  Not only were there the requisite pillars and columns, but the area was overgrown with trees and bushes, and the fountains weren't working.

"The Ruins"
But come to find out, it isn't supposed to look that way  Ironically "The Ruins" are now in a state of ruin due to neglect and lack of funding over the years.

So there is a capital campaign underway , and the Friends of Holliday Park are well on their way to funding an endowment to restore and maintain this area.

What an amazing gem tucked away in a little known city park.  I can't wait to return as work progresses on this revitalization project.  And the concert was awesome!  The band Living Proof played a lot of cover tunes, and the crowd was moving and dancing to the tunes.

Removing the trees

And on the home front, part our own property has been a bit of a demolition site this past week.  We removed three diseased and dying Austrian Pines that were located between our house and our neighbor's house to the South.

Don't know the name, but it was effective equipment
Sunlight between the houses!

Since Mike bought the house about seven years ago, this area has been "no man's land" of pine trees, volunteer trees, poison ivy and weeds.

But as we made the decision to remove the trees, we've been thinking about alternate uses of this land.  First of all, it was always shady and dark.  Now it is a bright sunny spot!

So visions of a raised garden are floating through our heads.  It's too late for this year, but next year I envision a bumper crop of vegetables!  And another benefit of the tree removal is that our neighbors are now cleaning up their side of the property which was also very overgrown.  Major progress is underway!

Mike fixing the desk

And the next big project is Mike's study.  He made some revisions to the desk top,  and then we moved it out of the garage and into the house.

I'll save you from my ravings about how many times I cussed under my breath while trying to avoid denting my car door on that desk since last September... but suffice it to say I'm thrilled it's out of the garage.

Desk is finally in the study!

So Mike is now setting up  his study and getting things in order.  Again, major progress!

Beautiful evening at Holliday Park!

Have a great week! Diane

Friday, July 12, 2013

Beauty of nature

Beautiful petunias

By now you should know me well enough to expect lots of pictures of summer flowers.  And with recent cooler temps and low humidity, I've been living outside.  And my camera is never far away...

All of these flowers are part of our yard except for the yellow lily.  Ok, I snuck into my neighbor's yard for that picture.

Geraniums on the deck

Rose bush from my mom's garden

Neighbor's lily

Pink petunias on the deck

Gorgeous pansy

Bird of Paradise

And I am experimenting this year with container gardening.  So far the tomatoes, bell peppers and squash are looking good. Can't wait for some fine eating ahead....

Cherry tomatoes on the deck

Bell peppers on the deck

Squash garden, aka "Jumanji" squash

And our feline friends are enjoying the great outdoors via the screen  porch.  They definitely have the right idea!
Wendy enjoying the porch
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful outdoors this summer!  Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer fun and excitement!

You can't beat the 4th of July for summer fun and excitement!

We still can't explain where all these fireworks came from, but here is the view looking across the street from our house...Mike took all 3 amazing photos of fireworks!

Kevin and Kathy came over for a day and we enjoyed our favorite Greek restaurant, Santorini's.

My brother Gary, his wife Peggy and mom stopped by for a visit.  We enjoyed great food and company and time on the porch.

Gary and Peggy  

Enjoying time with mom
At the Indians game

Mike and I attended a July 4th baseball game at Victory Field where the Indianapolis Indians beat the Louisville Bats!  It was a very hot and humid day, and maybe not the most exciting game ever.  Okay, okay, we left after the 6th inning...

And we topped off the week with a great trip to Cincinnati for my nephew Richie's high school graduation party.

Alex and Richie

With Gary, Pam, Angie and mom

A little friendly competition between Brian and Eric and...

 Gary and Adam

Today it's back to normal, or maybe I should say our own brand of "normal".   This morning we started out on a simple bike ride around the neighborhood when Mike spotted a couple of men walking out from behind our neighbor's house which seemed a bit strange since our neighbors weren't home.

We then noticed the young men walking up to several houses and ringing door bells.  From our vantage point, it appeared they might be casing the neighborhood to see who was home during the day.  So we called the local gendarme, and several minutes later three police cars pulled up as the men were walking down the driveway at another house down the block.   As we continued our bike riding, the police were having a little chat with these men.

Although we don't really know the outcome, we like to think we stopped a crime!  Nothing like a bit of adrenaline on a Monday morning bike ride...

Take care and be careful out there!