Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday . . . and the livin' is easy . . .

5:35 am - The dogs coaxed me out of bed at 5:13 am. I'm not sure coaxed is quite the right word, but it'll do. They've now been let outside, fed and watered and are content. Almost sounds like I'm talking about cattle, or horses - fed and watered. ■ I'm going to have to put a picture up here later on. I think posts need a graphic. Makes it more interesting for the viewer of the post. More later - and a picture, or two. ■ 4:00 pm - Ok, there's the graphic - too graphic of me on the treadmill. Only did 3 minutes, but it's a start. I'll get on later and do some more. ■ It's ribs on the grill tonight. In fact I've got to go start the fire in a few minutes and check to see if I've got enough hickory in the bucket for smoking. ■

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weather, or not?

It's a rainy, windy, not-as-warm-as-it's-supposed-to-get day out. Blah. ■ I thought I'd take a stab at drawing a car. I've never attempted one before. I did draw a tractor before, but never a car. Oops, I take that back . . . I did put a 1950's era MG in one drawing, but it was very small. This one's a little larger. What do you think? ■ Our village has had sort of a "cruise night" every Wednesday evening during the summer for the past few years. I've never made it downtown for it, mostly because my band practiced on Wednesday nights. I intended to go last year, but as I recall the weather didn't cooperate when I remembered that it was Wednesday, and I just plain forgot about it the other Wednesdays. I wanted to take some pictures of the cars and do pen and inks of them. Maybe this year . . . ■ 9:10 pm - Well, the day turned out to be much better than it started. The rain and wind stopped and the sun came out this afternoon - and the temperature went up to the mid 70s. ■ I'm looking at my office and, well, I've just got to get it organized. Too much paper - most probably needs to be thrown out, but some needs to be filed. Gotta tackle that! ■

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drawing and weighing in . . .

It's late in the day. I've been doing a drawing, actually 2 drawings, of a home. As you can see it's the front of the house and the back of the house. My customer has some sort of project she wants to do with these. The drawings are small. I almost always prefer to do larger drawings as you can get more details in the finished product. When I started drawings I began with 4"x6" drawings. They went quickly, but I was unable to put the detail in that they really needed. So I went a size larger - 8x10 and found that those were actually a bit easier . . . and then to the 11x14, which I found I could put much more detail in - and, in some ways, it was easier working on the larger drawings. They do, however, take much longer to complete. ■ I've been losing some weight lately. It's feeling good and I want to keep at it. Now I've just got to push myself to remember to get on the treadmill every day and get that needed exercise in. ■ I've got to run an errand quickly. Maybe more later. ■ 10:45 pm - My errand was running to Jewel, our local grocery store, to pick up some steak for dinner. I did that and then had a margarita on our patio with my neighbor Jac. Jac's son brought him home some cigars from his trip to Mexico. I don't smoke cigars, so I'll assume that they're good. ■ Cooked the steaks on the grill and Holly cooked some broccoli. Delicious. ■ Tomorrow the treadmill!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One more picture . . .

Just one more picture for today . . . . .

Stress test, nurses, almost done.

The picture was taken in the hospital's coffee shop where I'm having a bite to eat between parts of the test. The nurses are all great. That always makes these visits to the hospital good. In about 10 minutes I have to go back in for the 3rd part of the test. Off I go. ■ Ok, I'm done with the test and back home. The stress test wasn't on a treadmill, but with a drug called adenosine, which sort of duplicates the stress your heart/body goes through while on a treadmill - except it's, in my opinion, worse. Your chest tightens up, it's difficult to breath, the blood rushes to your head . . ., but it's only for 6 minutes. Halfway through that they inject you with some sort of nuclear material. I'd rather get on the treadmill. ■ Lots to do today. Maybe more later. ■

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bats, stress tests, . . .

While we were in Louisville we visited the Louisville Slugger factory. It was a fun tour and at the end of it we were given a miniature Louisville Slugger bat. Well, I just had to have a regular bat with My name burned in it. ■ Had a great time in Louisville with our daughter and her boyfriend. We ate way too much, but had a great time. It took about 6 hours to drive there and we used about 3/4 of a tank of gas. It's nice to know that we can make it down there on less than a tank of gas. ■ Tomorrow I go to the hospital for a nuclear stress test. Got to see how the ol' heart is doing. ■ 6:45 pm - I'm glad I called the hospital to make sure the referral for the stress test was there. It wasn't. I called my cardiologist's office to find the status and they assured me that the referral would be at the hospital prior to the test and not to cancel the test. That was a mouthful! ■ I think I have to start the drawing I've been working on all over. At least it's only about 50% completed. ■

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Churchill Downs

We went to Churchhill Downs today. Lots of fun. I only bet on one
race - to win - and my horse came in dead last - by at least three

Saturday, May 24, 2008


FABD - Frankfort Ave. Beer Depot - a great smoked pulled pork sandwich here. Great ribs too, I understand, but they were out of ribs. Went to the Louisville Slugger plant and had a great tour.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Neighbors - it may seem like an old subject , but . . .

Wow! Two posts today! And two exclamation points in a row! Or, is that three? Ok, enough funny stuff. The person in the picture is my old across-the-street neighbor, Bob. Bob and Roxanne retired to sunny Florida about a year and a half ago. Sunny, warm, no-snow - no-cold-weather Florida. Yes, they missed our beautiful winter here this year. Some folks have all the luck, or are able to see-into-the-future! Hi, Roxanne! Bob did make it up here and caught me mowing the lawn. I took a break and we had a beer and talked 'bout ol' times. He said he misses the snow, cold weather, and the long drives to Antioch. (I think he had a "senior moment" there.) ■ All funnin' aside (sounds like I'm a headin' south, doesn't it?) he does miss Cary and the neighborhood. He does, however, like the warm Florida weather and his swimming pool in his backyard! Ok, we're jealous, but we do have The neighborhood! ■ All for tonight. Goodnight 'yall. ■

Gorgeous flowers and day

What gorgeous flowers. These are in a pot out on our patio. My wife planted them last weekend and they're really looking good. My iPhone takes pretty good pictures, but this one doesn't do them justice. ■ The lilacs are past their prime. Pretty soon the blossoms and their wonderful smell will be done for the year. ■ I'm working on that drawing of the home in North Carolina. Soon I'll have it to the stage when I can take a scan of it. Maybe I'll post that later on today. ■ The Krehbiel-Kalo exhibition in Park Ridge is going super. I received a phone call today that another 6 classes of children are in the process of coming through the exhibit. I so wish I was there. Just going down to Park Ridge and back is a 2 hour trip. I just don't have the time today. Bummer. ■ More later.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guitar lessons, friends, neighbors . . .

This is a picture of the aftermath of guitar lessons. Well, at least a partial picture. An amp, a music stand, furniture moved out of the way, chairs moved around, etc. I guess I should have stood further back to take in more of the scene. Both of my students are doing very well. ■ Friends, neighbors - I feel that we're, both my wife and I, blessed with great friends and neighbors. It's so nice being outside and having people say, "Hi, Steve", wave, come across the street, or walk next door -- and those are just the neighbors. And friends - geographically close and geographically far away - we have so many - and so many good ones. We still keep in contact with friends from college, my days in the U.S. Navy, childhood friends, friends from when our children were young . . . and I guess I could go on and on. We're truly blessed. ■ Cubs lost. Heck of a note to end the post with. I guess there won't be an "W" flag up across the street tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A few gig pictures and drawing

I know, the pictures are hard to see. Simply click on the picture and it'll open up a larger version in another window. Try it! ■ Laid out the drawing I'll be working on today yesterday. This morning I'll start the actual pen and ink of it. It's a beautiful home in NC. Maybe I'll post a scan later. Depends on how much I get done. ■ I think I also need to mow the lawn today - and then again on Friday as we're going to Louisville to see our daughter. ■ Tomorrow I'm meeting an old coworker from one of my old jobs for lunch. It'll be good to see him. ■ More later on . . . . .

Monday, May 19, 2008

When's it going to get warm?

It only got to about 60º today. When is it going to get warm? I want some 70º temps. ■ It was warm enough for my neighbor, Jac, to get out and wash his 'Vette. And look who he has with him! Maybe tomorrow I'll get my picture taken with them. Jac took time to take a look at my brakes. I was hearing a squeal and thought it was my brakes, but no, the squeal is coming from some brushings someplace on the car. He had to explain what brushings were. My ignorance of mechanics knows no end. ■ I've got some pictures from the gig I played with Bullfrog on Saturday. I'll see if I can't get some of those up tomorrow. It was fun. ■

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The parade, weather, food, . . .

Being a judge at Lombard's Lilac Parade was fun. I think I've been a judge for the past 4 or 5 years. Lots of fire engines, floats and bands. I think they have somewhere around 50,000 people watching the parade! ■ The weather was cool, overcast, and hinting of rain. It's been like that almost every year for the parade. I keep hearing "Oh, it's been hot some years." - I just haven't seen it. ■ Food! Every year our friends the Murphys host a post parade party. Food! There was so much food! Brats, chicken, homemade salsa, guacamole, apple pie, carrot cake, coleslaw, potato salad, Brazilian tomato salad, brownies, . . . and the list goes on. ■ And we did a bit of jammin' with a few guitars. Even played "bye, bye, miss American pie, . . . drove my chevy to the levy and . . . . . ■ At any rate, I'm bushed again. Two days in a row. "Early to bed and early to rise . . . "

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Giggin' again

I'm exhausted. I did a gig with my old band, Bullfrog, this afternoon and I'm just plain tired. I'm not used to standing for such a long period of time with a guitar on my shoulders. My feet ache and I'm tired, but the gig was a blast. The picture above was taken when the band does "Mustang Sally." With that song we get all the ladies up to sing the refrain "ride, Sally, ride . . ." Always lots of fun and the voices! Well, not American Idol quality, but . . . . ■ I'm climbing in bed. Got to get some sleep. ■

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lilacs and guitar strings - just a few of my favorite things!

The lilacs are just beautiful now. Just lovely. ■ And guitar strings . . . I'm in the process of changing strings on 2 of my electric guitars. One down and one to go. I also need to change strings on 2 of my acoustic guitars - maybe today - maybe tomorrow. ■ I'm playing with my old band, Bullfrog, tomorrow, which is the reason I'm doing the string changin' thing. It should be fun. Can't wait. ■ I need to call the hospital and get setup for a nuclear stress test. Next week I've also got to go and get blood drawn. I'm surprised I have any blood left from the last series of blood-drawing-tests! The cardiologist's nurse practitioner also changed one of my meds, so I've got to get over the the pharmacy to get that. ■ I mowed the backyards yesterday and need to mow the front yards today. ■ Well, back to work. 4 more strings to change on the Telecaster and then out to mow. ■

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The item above is a "worry stone" that I bought on our trip to Ireland 3 years ago. It sits in a drawer to the left of my desk - almost never used, but close if needed. ■ It's 2:40 am and I can't sleep. I've had fitful dreams - don't feel like I've slept - and now I'm awake. I think I'm worried about an appointment I have tomorrow - I mean today - with the nurse practitioner in my cardiologist's office. I'm part of a weight tracking group at our local hospital and Christine from that program called when she noticed my weight had gone up. I mentioned that I hadn't been losing as much water as I used to since I started on an additional medication. She had me call my cardiologist's office and bingo I'm going there tomorrow morning - I mean this morning. ■ I have to admit, ok I freely admit that I'm sick of all the meds I have to take. ■ After the appointment I have to go down to Park Ridge for a luncheon at a Kalo Foundation function. ■ Too much stuff going on. Where's that worry stone?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lilacs, guests, and drawing

We have 2 beautiful lilac bushes. This picture is of the one at the corner of the backyard. It's huge and I really need to do some trimming this year on both of the bushes. I took this picture last night. You can see how the lilacs are blooming. ■ One of my brothers-in-law from Green Bay is coming down today. I've got some cleaning to do. ■ But more importantly I have 4 sketches of a home in NC to get done. Got to get busy. More later . . . ■

Monday, May 12, 2008

Krehbiel - Kalo Exhibit - (2nd post of the day)

This is a quick picture I took this morning at the setup of the Krehbiel-Kalo Exhibition in Park Ridge, IL. I had to drive down some old photos for the exhibit and to see if I could help in setting it up. I helped with a couple of the easels, but Warren Foxwell and Jane Meyer were doing most of the work in getting the paintings hung on the walls. The paintings were brought in by Jane Meyer of Jane Meyer Fine Art ( The paintings were all done by the Krehbiels - Albert and his wife Dulah Evans Krehbiel. For more information on these two do a search via Google. ■ For more info on the exhibit see the Kalo Foundation website at: ■ Just went to let the dogs out and smelled skunk! My dogs have been skunked 5 times over the past few years and I just can't stand the smell. It must be because I'm the one outside with a hose and a de-skunking solution in 40º weather! ■

Exhibition in Park Ridge

I'm going down to Park Ridge this morning to deliver some photos I have of the Kalo Shop and the Randahl Shop to the exhibition that the Kalo Foundation is putting on. The exhibition will run for the next two weeks at Northern Trust in Park Ridge. It will consist of Kalo and Randahl silver items plus paintings by Albert Krehbiel. Albert Krehbiel was the artist that painted the murals in the Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield. Both he and his wife, Dulah Evans Krehbiel, lived in Park Ridge. Park Ridge had a rather large artist colony. That's some fodder for another post. Got to get going. ■

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day. I just called my mother to wish her happy mother's day. I mailed her a nice letter with pictures on Wednesday and she hasn't received it yet, although she said she didn't go out to the mailbox yesterday. ■ I have a particular item that I wanted to get for my wife for mother's day, but by the time I got to that store it was closed. It closes at 4:00 pm on Saturday and I got there about 4:05 pm. Back to the store tomorrow. ■ I decided not to go to the open mic last night with this "band". It turns out that there would be 7 guitar players. That's just too many guitarists for one band. ■ It's overcast and rainy today. The picture I took of the potted flowers would look much prettier in the sun. My wife planted all of those you see plus again as many in other pots and then even more in three beds we have. ■

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lilacs, grass cutting, open mics

The lilacs are starting to bloom. They're beautiful in the spring. We have two lilac bushes - one by the edge of the garage (in the foreground) and the other in the back corner of the yard - way back there. They'll be blooming just in time for the Lombard Lilac Parade next Sunday. Of course that's in Lombard, IL - not Cary, IL. I'll be at the parade as a judge next Sunday. Maybe I'll do a blog post from there. ■ I cut the backyard yesterday afternoon, but I still need to cut the front. I'll do that in just a little bit. ■ I'm going to an open mic tonight. Some of us are getting together to go over a few songs (I don't even know what songs yet) later on this afternoon and then we'll go to the mic as a band. I'm looking forward to it. ■ More later. ■ Decided not to go to the open mic. I found out that there would be 7 guitar players in "the band". Too many guitarists for me. You'd never get a chance to play. Sort of like having 7 quarterbacks on a football team. ■ My wife planted flowers this afternoon. They look good. Maybe, if it's not raining, pictures tomorrow. ■

Friday, May 9, 2008

Guitars, one large dog, and ??

I just had to take this picture last night to show you how much room Mollie takes up on the bed. Holly's scrunched up on the right side and there's no room left for me! ■ I'm going to join a band and play at an open mic on Saturday night. It should be fun. I need to change the strings on a couple of my electric guitars. They haven't been changed in months and will need it. I'm sure I'll also have to adjust the necks too. Heck, I need to change strings on the acoustic guitars that I use regularly. Lots of string changing going on today and tomorrow. ■ More later.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Just where was that street?

It's been a busy day so far - and it's far from over. This morning, amongst other things, I had to choose some silver to place in an exhibition. I chose 3 pieces and then, of course, had to polish them, photograph them for my records After that I drove to Palatine to give them to the Kalo Foundation president and to have a lovely lunch she and her husband. I have to give kudos to Betsy (the president) for all of her hard work. I wish I could do more, but I'm so far away geographically from Park Ridge that it makes it difficult. ■ After lunch it was back her to work on a handout of a historical map of Park Ridge artists. Pretty easy except for the fact that one of the addresses doesn't make any sense - any more. I've got an address of 306 Des Plaines Street - but - Des Plaines street runs east/west with addresses in the 1600 to 1800's. Hmmm . . . this sounds like there was another street named Des Plaines, but has since been renamed to something else. . . . so I called the local Park Ridge expert. Ed is doing some research to find it. He sort of remembers it, but it's been a long, long time since Des Plaines was renamed to something else. I await his phone call. ■ Now I've got to run and get a package out in time for Mother's Day. More later. ■ 10:15 pm - I did sweet Italian sausage on the grill tonight. Sauted some onions; had picked up some rolls from Jewel; a little BBQ sauce; and it was delicious. ■ I just took a typical "Mollie on the bed" picture. I'll post it in tomorrow's blog. ■

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

System problems

I've been trying to write a post all morning, but there's been some problems with Blogger and/or Google and/or my internet connection. I finally gave up and did some other things, but now whatever has been wrong is now righted - and I can write! ■ And now that I have access to write I have to run some errands. Back later . . . ■ 9:15 pm - It's been a busy day. Too much time spent this morning trying to get on and post to my blogs - then trying to find out why I couldn't and resolve it . . . frustrating. I also had problems with my virus protection software. It would tell me that my files weren't protected - I'd turn the protection on - it would stay on for 30 minutes and then go off again. This happened several times. It seems to be stable now. ■ On a lighter note I wrote a letter to my mother, mailed it and the RSVP to my niece's wedding, got a haircut, and gave a guitar lesson. ■ Enough. Zoe's bugging me to go to bed. Goodnight.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday and maybe some rain . . .

The weather has been nice and warm for the past couple of days. It's beginning to feel like summer - or at least spring. After doing some yard work on Sunday, my wife and Zoe are relaxing on the patio - waiting for the ribs to be finished. ■ The bottom picture is of Nicor (our gas company) digging in our neighbor's yard to fix something - obviously related to natural gas. They had a trenching machine as well as a backhoe to do the digging. They fixed whatever they were fixing and had filled in the holes they dug by 1:30 pm. I'm glad I had cut the grass on Sunday otherwise I'd be trying to navigate around the dirt. I'm also glad they didn't have to dig up my yard! ■ I got lots done yesterday, but still have a bunch to do today. In fact one of the guitar lessons I usually give on Wednesday afternoon has been moved up to this afternoon and I need to do a couple of quick things to prepare. ■

Monday, May 5, 2008

My wife took this picture of me yesterday cutting the grass for the 1st time this year. I had changed the oil in the mower with some superior mechanical supervision from my across-the-street neighbor, Jac. Thanks, Jac. It took about a gallon of gas to cut the lawns. As Jac said, "Who would ever have thought that you'd have to start budgeting for gas in cutting your lawn?" ■ My back is slooowly getting better. It's been 2 weeks now that it's been out. I'm on 2 canes first thing in the morning and then later on I can walk for short distances without a cane. ■ A lot on my plate today, so I'd better get busy. ■

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunny Sunday, Derby, ribs, . . . . .

The Kentucky Derby - that's our group of ladies (picture at upper left) at our Derby party yesterday - all in their fine Derby hats. The other pictures were taken by our daughter (or taken of her). Our daughter was at The Derby hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Can you tell who that is in the picture on the upper right? Famous and has a mansion. ■ It's a beautiful day today. Sunny and almost 70. I changed the oil on the John Deere and cut the grass. I'm so glad my wife bought me the Deere. The thought of trying to cut the grass pushing the mower - well, I don't think I could do it with the shape my back is in right now. ■ We're cooking ribs on the grill tonight. In fact it's almost 5:00 pm and I've got to get the grill going. ■ Maybe more later . . . . . ■ The ribs were delicious. And I might add - as usual. ■ Sat on our patio with my wife and our neighbor, Steve. Steve and I experimented with a couple of beers from one of those "Beers from around the world" gifts. He had a bach beer from Germany and I had a couple of different ones from Mexico. Not bad. ■ I've been working on getting the new blog - not yet released - up and running. More on that tomorrow. ■ Time for bed. Good night!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's "Derby Day" - the day they run the Kentucky Derby. To the left are some of the pictures that my daughter took at Churchill Downs earlier this week. And in keeping in fashion (something her father knows nothing about) she purchased a Derby hat. It's in virginal form right now, she says, but she'll be adding ribbons and bows and other bling to it. She's going to The Derby while my wife and I are going to a derby party. Maybe I should look for a derby hat! Hmmm . . . what could I come up with??? ■

Friday, May 2, 2008

After the rain . . .

It's fresh, cool, and delightful out in the neighborhood.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Messy desk? Too busy? Jack of All Trades?

Always a question. There on my desk sit portions of many projects. Postcards from around 1910 of people of the Kalo Shop; a chart of a guitar fretboard, yellow marker to mark-up that chart, iPhone cradle, USB hub, digital camera, golf balls, external hard drive, and various notes. I need to take a few minutes each day to file things and get them off my workspace. ■ More after I do some filing. ■ 10:28 pm - It's late, but I wanted to update this blog. I had lunch with an old coworker from years back. She just lost her job (the economy isn't doing very well, if you haven't noticed) and is now out looking. Her sister, who also just lost her job due to the economy - and is also an old coworker, was there too. It was so good to see both of them again. You never want to lose track of friends. If I have family and friends, I have everything. ■ I still need to figure out the technical stuff for my new blog. Somewhat frustrating, but also a great challenge. ■