Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday mashup: Sister weekend, margaritas, spiral stairway complete and alone with my thoughts!

You know, I feel much better now that I have taken new pictures and posted several blog posts.  It certainly has distracted me from finishing my closet cleaning and house straightening.  The time it takes to edit pictures is extensive, but so satisfying.  Actually the time it takes to write blog posts is extensive, but so much fun.  At least most of the time.

So I have a mashup of items here.  Let's start with last weekend.  I got together with my wonderful sister, Rose, in the fine city of Eau Claire, WI.  Eau Claire is sort of half way between us and we stayed over for a night and had some sister time.  It was wonderful, I didn't really take many pictures but here are two great ones of us together.  

Margaritas at the Northwoods Brew Pub

It was so awesome to see my little sister.  She is wise beyond words, such a comfort and a joy to me.  It was a hard weekend in many respects, one of which was the death of a dear friend of mine- John Hinkley.  He was my kids' former band teacher and I adored him.  It was a very sad drive to Eau Claire. (I am so grateful to the friends who talked me through the drive, it was awful)  We had such a great time, we talked until all hours of the night, drank Margaritas, ate well and shopped!   We even tried on the same clothes- which was one of the most mind blowing experiences of my life.  We threw clothes back and forth between the dressing rooms!  Here try this one on!  Oh I think that looks better on you.  Let's get the same shirt!  Etc.  

Now, people say that we look exactly alike, but I'm not sure I see it.  But I will take y'alls word for it.

Speaking of Margaritas.....  and I certainly have been.  If not on this blog (which I have just now if you were reading closely and not trying to figure out which sister is which!  hee hee) then in my real life. I used to drink Margaritas back in the day when I used to go to dance clubs and stay up, um, let's say past midnight.  There was a place in Beloit that had live bands that made the BEST Margaritas I ever had.  EVER.  I always am hoping to find one that stands up to it, more on that in a moment.
So for the past 3 weekends, turns out I have had Margaritas- one up in Ashland at the Deepwater Grill, one (maybe two) in Eau Claire at the Northwoods Brew Pub, and one (absolutely two) at the Northwoods Supper club in Fifield.  While all were good, I have to say I think the Northwoods Brew Pub is the winner so far.  I do plan to continue my quest to find excellence in Margaritas again soon. Maybe as soon as next weekend!
 I "MAY" try mixing one of my own tonight!  I bought some really good ingredients...

Margarita with my dear friend Cat at the Deepwater

Northwoods Supper club Margarita
Ok, so here is what many people have wanted to see, and that is the completion of the spiral staircase!  I  was called upon for my photography skills this afternoon,  as the Barber  and MA have some people they want to show this project to.  (I guess they don't have internet access to this blog, eh?) Totally goofed up my afternoon- but c'est la vie, I guess.  I will HAVE to go back and take a few more pix in the sun, though.  

It took a while, but between the Mad-Accountant and the Barber, have finally finished the stairs.  They think they have about 120 hours of labor in it, starting at Christmas time, and mostly on Sunday afternoons,  plus the occasional Saturday afternoon. It was tax season after all, and some of us rarely get out of the office during that little stint.  They used the little Franklin stove to keep themselves warm and basically made up the plans as they went.  They began with the pole in the center (15 ft. 3 inches), which was set upright by the MA, the Barber, Madson-Greg and the elusive Mike.  The steps were drawn out onto individual pieces of cardboard and were all individually cut and fitted.  The steps were inserted into hand carved mortices, and are reinforced both underneath and by a handrail that holds everything together.  Greg made a brace, that has yet to be installed on the lovely wooden floor, just for good luck and safety sake, I guess.  Now there has to be a railing installed up on the loft so no one takes an unfortunate header off the edge.  But that can wait till fall.

Fred and Bob, staircase builders extraordinaire 

View from the north side, looking up at the landing

The Barber playing with fire again

Looking down

View of the hand rail, with an artistic touch

Ok, so they  had a couple of tiny little details to finish up on 
Detail of the tricky hand rail

Stairs from the west angle 
Stair brace details

View from below

Sepia image of underneath view
Now they are making supposed plans for my garden shed.... oh great. I hope it takes them less time than the cabin is taking.

So after I finally got done with the photography, the dishes, the pretending to clean out my closet- still- I noticed that it was finally done RAINING.  Or at least for the moment.  So I went for a walk!  I needed to get out and get my cardio in for the day, I feel incomplete without some sort of physical activity.  I took the chance and set out.  I put on my winter running coat, as it is waterproof and the day had shown that it was prone to showers.  GOOD THING!!!  Let's say I was pretty damp when I got home.
When I was just starting, I noticed my phone battery was lower than I like.  I knew that if I ran my Runkeeper app I would not have enough battery to go the hour that I planned.  So I set off without the app, let alone my camera and my music.  I left the camera at home and decided that the music would suck battery, too.  I wanted to be able to call for a ride if it started to downpour..... this is all a pretty cruel joke, if you ask me.  And so it was just me and my thoughts today.

Alone with my thoughts

Heading down the road alone
It was pretty dreary today and pretty cold.  I sort of felt like the scenery for a long time.  Good thing that walking makes me feel good!

I don't walk often without the Runkeeper app and my music.  I like to have the beat of the music, I like to have the Runkeeper lady telling me what my pace is, how far I have gone, how long I have been out. I just like it.  It gives me incentive to keep my speed up, I know when I am slowing down, and when I run- if I am going too fast.  It is an awesome tool.  But it is occasionally nice to walk with nothing, I can be  good company for myself.  And a mile and a half into it, after taking a few phone pix, I found out what it was like to have no phone, too!  That's right, the phone died about 2 miles from home.  And that is when it started to mist, to say the least.....  I told you this was a cruel joke!  And experience has shown that if I need a certain person to come in handy (cough,ahem,fred,cough) that person is no where to be found...

Sure enough when my dripping self got home, there he and the Barber were, drinking the coffee I had made, noshing the package of cookies I bought and have resisted, and laughing at me when I got in.  Terrific.  "We tried to find you, but we didn't know where you were!"  There are only 3 ways I can go- so it seems to me it wouldn't have been that diffic...... oh never mind.  I needed the walk anyway.  I didn't melt or anything!

It may be a few days before I blog again, the school year just gets busier and busier.  But it has been nice to feel like I have caught up a little again.  And to have shared in bits of my daily joy!
Oh Yeah, I did indeed make my own Margarita!  In a festive glass that was given to me last summer by the Barber, coincidentally enough.  I split one with the MA.  It is good, but I like the blended ones better.  That will be my next project.  The perfect Slushy Margarita!


Festive glass

Dramatic lighting!
Until next time, be a joy giver!


  1. So that's what happens when a barber and an accountant join forces. Love the staircase; talk about neat! And I like your fancy smancy margarita glass. Nice blog!

    1. Thanks so much Barbara! That is what happens when an artist (the Barber) and a math person with cabin building experience (the MA) join together! It is quite a glass isn't it? hehehe

  2. I must say, that staircase is the highlight here. What an amazing piece of work. Give those two men some mad props for me!!

    1. Molly, thanks so much. It is amazing. I am usually so busy defending myself with the two of them I fail to notice what they are doing! The stairs are a really good use of space, and are artistically fascinating. I wish the light was a little better inside, as I see pictures that need to be taken. Hence I will be returning when there is better light. I just hope they start staying IN the cabin, or at least leave their gear out there. I still contend I will NOT be staying out there over night, but we shall see how that goes.