The Local Olympics

I scored a great ticket to the Barton Olympics and had a front-row seat for multiple events. I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t know very much about some of the events and can’t tell you what was going on.

Here is the start of a race but, I don’t remember how many meters it was. I didn’t hear the starter say “BANG” either.

b Race

The floor exercises were my favorite event.

b Backbends

The somersaults were exciting.

b Sommersaults

b Gymnastics

Here is a pommel horse stunt I did not see on television this week. Owen did a fine leap over the pommel horse while Cam crawled underneath.  The pommel horse survived by telling Owen to put his hands on her back and to leapfrog over, and not to jump up and land with his feet.

b Pommel Horse

Owen lost two points for not having his feet off the ground in this event. I like the upside-down smile.

b Headstands

This was the running, leaping, and spinning in the air routine. Jennifer may have taken the gold with this one.

b Leaping

b Airborn Owen

b Running

As you might imagine, the equestrian events were exhausting to watch.

b Owen Balancing on Horse

I called this the yoga horse.

b Yoga Horse

Equestrian was Cam’s favorite event.
b Cam the Equestrian

b A Fine Mare

b Equestrian

The aquatics event only had one contestant.
b Women's Aquatic Event

I got my own workout yesterday.  I offered to run the vacuum cleaner. Cam wanted to help.  He loves to vacuum.  Little did I realize, though, that Cam’s idea of helping is to ride on my hip and hold the power cord out of the way.  I couldn’t do it.  So I told him to stand on my foot and wrap one arm around my leg. That kid is heavy! Jennifer got a big laugh out of it and took pictures of my struggle. I could not finish the job.

b Cam Helping Baba Yaga Vacuum

I don’t know why I got the notion to make a fresh fruit tart.  I’ve never made one before. Maybe it was the display of  raspberries and blueberries in the grocery store. I bought a tart pan when we shopped for groceries.  I chose the Paula Deen recipe from the web.

b Raspberry Blueberry Tart

My crust was extra thick because the recipe was for a 12-inch pan and I bought a nine-inch pan, the only size in the store. The glaze was nasty when I tested it with my finger at the stove but, was delicious on the finished product. I’ve never seen a spiral decoration on a tart and was quite proud of it.

New Car, Big Creek, and C-diff

On Monday we visited a Jeep dealer and a Toyota dealer.  It took all day.  I had never driven a Jeep before and really liked it.  Andy was happy that he could get in and out easily. I drove the Toyota RAV4 and liked it better.  We decided to buy it. However, it was late in the day and we had to return on Tuesday to do the paperwork process, which took two-and-a-half hours. I shed a little tear on the way there because I love the little red Ford Focus and was sad to part with it. Andy is thrilled that he can get in and out without knee pain.  On Wednesday, we went shopping for a tow dolly.  That took half the day. I just realized that I have not taken a picture of the car.

I think we are getting close to having a book.  The interior designer is working on it this week.  I have finished up the dedication, acknowledgements, chapter titles, and back cover text.

I called the gastroenterologist office last week to complain that I was getting worse again. They decided to do another stool analysis.  It turned out negative for anything else. I reverted back to the 250-milligrams of Vancomycin four times a day, stopped taking the Metronidazole,  and have an appointment for Monday with the doctor. We heard an interesting interview on National Public Radio by Terri Gross of Fresh Air.  She interviewed Ed Yong, author of I Contain Multitudes. They talked about the microbes in our gut, including C-diff.  Yong said that our understanding of what microbes do is still in its infancy.  I have been taking pro-biotics and guzzling kefir and now I learn that we don’t know what individual microbes to well enough to definitively say the probiotics we take are doing us any good. It’s no wonder I’m regaining my weight, that kefir has a lot of calories in it.




Milwaukee Tools Company Picnic at the Zoo

Son-in-Love George’s company, Milwaukee Tools, held its picnic at the zoo. It was a good place and there were many small children.  They handed us Milwaukee t-shirts as we entered. There were hundreds of people in bright red t-shirts.  Andy and I had fun saying, “Look at that man in the red t-shirt”.  Here are George, Owen, and then Cam in an ankle-length t-shirt heading to the food tent.

b George, Owen and Cam Heading for Food Tent

Andy and I enjoyed the food.  The barbecue was delicious and I also enjoyed the potato salad and beans.

b Food Tent

Owen and Cam climbed upon and empty picnic table and began dancing to the music . They are most energetic dancers.

b Cam and Owen Dancing on the Picnic Table

When we finished our lunch, we headed out to look at animals. The zoo was crowded and there were red shirts everywhere. I took this picture of the giraffes and Andy pointed out the baby giraffe butt in the background for my animal butt collection.

b Baby Girrafe Butt

Here is a better picture of the baby.

b Baby Giraffe

With the heavy glass wall enclosure, Cam could get within inches of the snow leopard.  He was fascinated.

b Cam and the Snow Leopard

The train ride is always a favorite.  Andy, Jennifer, and Cam sat in one car.

b Cam and Jennifer on Train

George, Owen, and I sat in the car behind them.

b George and Owen Waving Goodbye

The last stop before leaving the zoo  is always the carousel.  I went aboard to take pictures but, not many of them turned out well.

The three Barton boys posed for me before the carousel started.

b Cam, George, Owen on Carousel

Cam chose a horse.

b Cam and George on Carousel

Owen chose a caribou.

b George and Owen on Carousel

Andy slept most of the way home.

Cam at Port Washington, WI Playground and Car Shopping

On Thursday, we left Owen with his Papa and took Cam on a “date”, to be an only child for a few hours. We drove him up to the park, high on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, in Port Washington. They have a large playground for small children. Cam checked out all of it.

b Cam Climbing Wall
Cam on Climbing Wall
b Cam at Top of Climbing Wall
Feeling Some Accomplishment at the Top
b Camp Entering Slide
Checking out the Big Slide

I followed him down but,  stopped before the end and had to wriggle out the rest of the way.
b Cam and Baba's Legs on Slide

What a ride!

c Cam at Bottom of Slide

He was a little unsure about climbing the rope net but kept trying.

b Cam Starting Rope Net

b Cam Climbing Rope Net

The excavator.  It was a bit too hard for him to operate so Andy gave him some help. It may not look like he is having any fun because he is not smiling.  But a big construction project is serious business and he was concentrating very hard.

b Excavator Cam

We went to the Culver’s hamburger place for lunch.  Cam wanted a cheeseburger kid’s meal.  He drank all the chocolate milk, ate all the fries, and then took one small nibble of the hamburger bun. He got ice cream (actually, it is custard here in Wisconsin) anyway. Grandparents!

Jennifer went to work on Friday.  George was still on vacation and wanted to replace a window in the garage. So Andy and I took the boys to look at cars.  Andy is having trouble getting in and out of the Focus and we are going to have to replace it sooner or later.  It was a rainy day.  A car dealer showroom seems like a good place for little boys.

I underestimated how much they would like it.  They went wild.  I couldn’t keep up with them. I wanted to look at a  Toyota RAV4.  It is much higher off the ground than the Focus and Andy might be able to get in and out easier.  As soon as I opened the door, both boys were in the driver’s seat, climbing over each other to reach controls.  I wanted to sit in the driver’s seat.  Both boys climbed into the back, then the far back. Owen stood on the console and stuck his head out the sun-roof. Then they were off to check out another car.

A woman asked if we needed help and I spoke with her for a moment.  I heard Owen call, “Hi Baba Waga!” and turned to see his head sticking out of a sun-roof on a near-by car. I saw a popcorn machine in the waiting-room area and offered some to the boys.  They were quiet and well-behaved until the popcorn was gone.  Andy was talking to a salesman.  Unfortunately, the RAV4 cannot be flat-towed behind the motorhome.  It would require a dolly. But, we don’t have a spare square foot of space in our lot in Marathon to store to  a dolly. I looked for Cam and found him in the cargo space of a small SUV. (I heard him talking in there.) Owen had found a sporty car and was turning every knob and trying to put it in gear. Cam spilled his bag of popcorn and a very nice, friendly woman offered to clean it up.  She asked Cam what car he wants.  He answered, “I want a Porsche”.

We left to check out cars at the Subaru dealer.  I put the boys in the children’s waiting area but, while we were talking to a salesman, a woman came and grabbed Cam, who was hanging out a car window. I couldn’t catch the boys.  A distinguished-looking gentleman walked over and suggested that I take the boys into the playroom where they had already escaped.  The salesman told Andy that the Subaru cannot be flat-towed either.  He said the front-wheel drive can, but not the four-wheel drive.  We took the boys out into the rainy used-car lot to look for a front-wheel drive Subaru. They were running wild between the cars so I told them we could go look at a very nice van.  When we got to Jennifer’s van and opened the doors, Owen protested. “This is OUR van!”

We drove to Costco.  Andy wanted a hotdog and a place where the boys could run around the tables.  But they were interested in eating and were well behaved until it was time to leave.  Can wanted to shop. He would not  walk out so I picked him up and held him on my hip while he kicked and screamed all the way out to the van.

I was really glad to get back home.


A Shi**y Day

Tomorrow is the last day of my week of Vancomycin three times a day (down from four times at day the previous two weeks).  Just like the last round, when I lowered the dose, things got worse. Again, I won’t give details of the poop diaries.  (Unless you really want to hear about it! ha ha) I left a message at the doctor’s office late this afternoon.

It was an errand day.  1. Take my external hard drive into Best Buy.  I had not been able to access it for three days.  It worked just fine when the Geek tried.  He said he is a tech whisperer. I bought another external hard drive as a backup backup. 2. Get Andy a new pair of sneakers.  He’s not going to catch up to me in the shoe department though. 3. Pick up a few grocery items at Costco and eat lunch there.

My last pair of shoes arrived as we returned and pulled in the driveway.  The UPS man only had to take a few steps outside his truck to hand the box to Andy in the car.

Jennifer’s girlfriend had borrowed George’s pickup truck this week while they were gone to the lake.  She returned it this afternoon.  Her toddler daughter, Olivia, was with her. Olivia loves the big red truck.  While they waited for her husband to pick them up, I entertained Olivia with sidewalk chalk on the driveway. She was asking me to draw things but, I couldn’t understand a word she said.  I asked her to lie down on the driveway and outlined her body.  Then I drew features and clothes on her. She was thrilled.

b Olivia
Two Olivias

Oil Change in Thiensville

Every time I go to Thiensville, I puzzle over the fact that it is a one-square-mile incorporated village within the town of Mequon.  I Googled that. Thiensville is older.  John Thien bought land and founded a village here in 1842. The territorial government established Mequon, completely surrounding the village in 1846. Thiensville was incorporated as a village in 1910.

We took the car to the dealer for an oil change and wheel alignment at 9:30 and started our walk.  The car dealer is just across the street from the little bridge over Pigeon Creek that we normally cross on our walks here.

b1 Sidewalk to Pigeon Creek
Sidewalk to Pigeon Creek Bridge

And, here is Pigeon Creek. It spills into the Milwaukee River just beyond the far bridge, which is Greenbay Road.

b2 Pigeon Creek

There is a pottery shop on the far side of the bridge.  This sculpture creation is next to the walkway. I rather like it.

b3 Pottery Sculpture
Pottery Sculpture

The opposite side of the walkway is lined with these flowers.

b4 Flowers Along Sidewalk

These flowers are growing along what I believe to be the millrace for and old saw mill.  The race is very long, so there could have been several mills of different kinds along it.

b5 Flowers Along Millrace

There is a small pond with a fountain (I suppose to keep the water cleaner) next to a footbridge across the millrace.  These flowers are next to the bridge.

b6 Flowers Next to Bridge

Here is the bridge that takes us to the  banks of the Milwaukee River.

b7 Bridge Over Millrace

We saw these people carrying their kayaks around the dam as we walked up the path.

b8 Kayakers Who Just Portaged Around Dam

This is the old dam. I must be about six or eight feet high. For some scale, there is a man fishing on the structure at the far end.

b9 Thiensville Dam

Here is the thing I’ve never seen before for today.  It’s a water fountain for filling your water bottle. That is the only picture I took in the park itself today.

b91 Fountain for Water Bottles

The next picture is when we were leaving the park, this bridge goes over the millrace next to the dam.

b92 Heading Back to Village

There were a number of people on the little river bank, several of them were fishing.

b93 Beach Below Dam

Some of the flowers along the path are quite tall.

b94 Fence and Flowers Along Trail

I asked my scale model, Andy, to stand next to some especially tall ones.

b95 Andy with Tall Flowers

b96 Flowers Along Path

There is a catering business along the path and they have a venue for weddings and other events.  There must have been a wedding there this weekend.
b97 Wedding Venue

b98 Purple Flowers Along Millrace

Here is the path as we were heading back to town, next to the pottery shop parking lot.

b99 Heading Back to Town

I had not noticed this large rooster sculpture next to the creek when we walked by the first time.
b991 Rooster Next to Pigeon Creek

The car was ready when we got back to the car dealer at noon.  We had covered the requisite five miles.

Mequon Nature Preserve

OK, I’ll tell you right up front.  I wore my old boring plain white New Balance sneakers today.  They are cushy. Also, didn’t know what our walk would be like and didn’t want to get any of my new shoes dirty.

I have noticed the Mequon Nature Preserve when we’ve driven by for several years now.  There are so many places to take nice walks here that we simply had not gotten around to the nature preserve yet. My gut was not happy this morning so we waited until I felt confident to go out.  We didn’t get there until nearly 11:00.  There were a lot of cars in the parking lot and a good many people inside the education building.  As soon as we were through the doors, I realized that it was a church using the space for worship.  The service was over. Andy thought we had come upon a party and headed for the food table. He was intercepted by a very friendly man who introduced himself and invited us to return for the service next week. They must be accustomed to having hikers drop in.

I picked up a trail map from a stand near the door and we headed out. Oh, before we go, something interesting.  The mission of the Mequon Nature Preserve is to acquire the land and return one square mile of Ozaukee County to its pre-European state.  Wisconsin was forest.  Settlers cut down the trees for the wood to build houses, furniture, tools, and fires in the fireplaces and cook stoves.  They plowed the land for their crops and pastures. Now, they have a one-hundred-year plan to restore the land to its natural state.

b1 White Spherical Flower
Cephalanthus occidentalis Button bush, Honey balls.  Perfectly round, white flowers perfume the air in Aug. & Sept. Red leaf stems contrast with green foliage.


I am not going to attempt to identify all these yellow daisy-like flowers.  It’s getting late.

b2 Yellow Daisy Like Flower

b3 Purple Pickerel Rush
Purple Pickerel Rush


b4 Yellow Flower

b5 Yellow Daisy Like Flower

b6 Yellow Flower

b7 Andy looking in Pond

b8 Small Yellow Daisy Flowers

b9 Large Daisy Like Flower

All the yellow flowers, well most, were in the wetlands area. Then we followed the trails between corn fields to he observation tower.

b91 Path Between Corn Fields

b92 Acres of Queen Anne's Lace
Acres of Queen Anne’s Lace


b93 Observation Tower
Observation Tower


b95 Path to Observation Tower
View to South of Path to Observation Tower and Queen Anne’s Lace


b96 Tiny Toad
Tiny Toad in the Grass


b97 Sulpher Butterfly
Sulpher Butterfly on Clover


b98 Large Yellow Daisy Like Flower


b99 Trail Map
One Square Mile

There are still more trails to explore so we’ll go back.