Wednesday, February 3, 2016

January is over!

Photo by my brother Gary
I have come to realize that January is my least favorite month!  It's cold and gray, and I just want to hibernate.

And OK, I did more than my share of hibernating so far this winter. But you know we've recently had a few days of sunshine, and  I'm ready to bust out of that sluggishness and DO SOMETHING.  ANYTHING.

So what can you do during cold days?  Visit with friends and family. And yes, sometimes there is eating involved...

We checked out a new restaurant in Fountain Square with our friends Chuck, Brian and Stacy. The restaurant, Pioneer, specializes in its take on Western European food, and Mike and I shared a small plate of German potato pancakes and  a wonderful sausage plate served over mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.  I can't wait to go back there again!

Brian, Stacy, Chuck, me and Mike at Pioneer

John Gorka

After dinner we headed to a concert at the local community center.  John Gorka is an awesome singer-songwriter, we enjoyed his music in this small venue of about 100 people.

There was a fun birthday party for my great niece Violet.  Her favorite gift seemed to be big pink slippers with claws.

Where do I get slippers like that?

John, me and Mike at Capri

We celebrated our friend John's birthday at a great little Italian restaurant called Capri.

Me, mom and Mike in the family truckster

We visited mom last weekend.  On Saturday we decided to go for a drive and ended up in New Harmony, Indiana.  We toured the town and drove through the beautiful Harmony State Park.

It seemed like we had Harmony State Park to ourselves.  It is a beautiful, hilly, forested park that is adjacent to the Wabash River.  We ventured off the beaten path to travel some oil well roads that were next to the river.  Once or twice we questioned driving through some muddy areas, but it sure made for an exciting trip!
Bridge over the Wabash River

Mike standing next to this tall field of grass near the river.  Kinda creepy (tall grass, not Mike)!

Beautiful hillside
Yes, those are sheets of ice along the water!

On Sunday we enjoyed my nephew Dane's basketball game which was a nail-biter for sure.  They won by two points in overtime!
Who has the ball?  Dane is in the center of the picture.
Enjoying the game with family.  Mike, Adam, Peggy, Gary, Angie and Eric.

And as you might expect, I have been spending time in my studio working on various crafts.

Here is a latch hook rug that my mom completed.  I finished it with rug binding, and Mike hung the rug. It is absolutely beautiful!

I sewed a couple of valences for mom's windows, and we hung them this past weekend.

We started our second semester of jewelry and metalwork.  Our first project is silver earrings, and I'll share some pictures when I finish them.

One thing that you can't miss in January of a presidential election year is the Iowa Caucuses.  And this year I was homesick for Iowa and my home in the Des Moines area.  The T.V. coverage of the city, views of the downtown area and reviews of restaurants made me wish I was back there.  Or at least I thought so until I heard they had a blizzard there the day after the caucuses!  

In early January I wrote an article that was published on the  Retirement and Good Living blog. You can find it here:  Ten retired friends. Ten very different retirement paths.

And now that I've survived January, I'm looking around for Spring. I thought I found it yesterday when Spring-like storms moved through the area. Here's a picture I took yesterday near our house...both beautiful and scary!

Hope you are having a great week!

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