More on Mark’s back

Well, we just returned from the surgeon’s office, and after discussion he recommends we try a few things before we resort to surgery for Mark’s back. We’ll be doing physical therapy, and some different pain management. This is the third doctor to tell me that you are basically in the same place a year later whether you have the surgery or not, and having the surgery is not more likely to correct nerve damage. So, we make more appointments, and wait and see.

Riding in the car is really difficult for Mark, ranging from uncomfortable to unbearable, so the trip to North Carolina was difficult for him, but he did manage to have some fun. We did get to spend a day wandering the shops of Asheville, if you’ve never been to Asheville I highly recommend it. They have an amazing artists’ community with many cool little shops of beautiful things. My very favorite craft supply store, Earth Guild, is there, I always wind up spending a lot there.

We also got to hang out one evening in the NoDa area of Charlotte. This is an area of many restaurants and galleries, and two Fridays a month the galleries are open late. We managed to be there for one of the late Fridays, I couldn’t believe how crowded the area was. We’ve been checking out this section of town every year, and it has grown by leaps and bounds. We had a hard time getting a meal, everyplace was full with overworked staff. It’s good to see the economy doing well someplace.

We don’t have any more trips planned in the immediate future, so Mark should be able to take it a little easy. I’m going to try to keep him out of the car, and hope for the best.

Where I stood..

Happy Easter!

We just got back from North Carolina, and I had to dye some eggs! Despite the unpacking and the mail and everything else I need to deal with, I decided it’s Easter, and I need eggs. That’s Harmony checking out the colored orbs, she doesn’t believe they are food. Food to her are hard crunchy little X’s, she’s a simple beast.

I’ll let you know more about the trip in coming days, right now I’ve too much to do!

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places Lynn Krawczyk spends her life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you’d like to join her by posting a photo on Sunday of places you’ve been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on her Sunday posts telling her where she can find you/your photo and she’ll add a link to her sidebar so others can find you. I am one of those that Lynn has badgered into joining her, I have changed it to “where I stood”, because right now I’m sitting in front of the computer, not standing anywhere.

New Orleans!

We’re all booked! I’ll be in New Orleans for the second weekend of Jazz Fest, if you’ve never been you need to go! We’re going with our good friends Kathy and Aaron. The four of us went two years ago, the first fest after Katrina, and we had a blast. Before we went last time Mark called a friend down there and asked if the people wanted to see tourists, and he said to come, so we came.

The festival has ten stages of music, and though you might think you’re there to see the big names, the most fun to be had is the local music scene. The gospel tent is the rockin’est place on the planet, with no down time between choirs. There are people that stay in that tent for the whole festival. You see newborn babies, people so old they look like they died a week ago, enormous people, and skinny, skinny people, it is the tent of extremes. Congo square serves up African music, the Preservation Hall tent will give plenty of old time jazz, and they’ll be lots of blues, Cajun and zydeco music on other stages. I plan on dancing my toes off.

There is also several art fairs, and food, oh the food! Praline pudding, stuffed artichokes, po’ boys a plenty, and crawdad everything! I’ll need to dance to wear off some of that food I plan on devouring. I hope to see ya all there!

Chicago, Illinois

Where I stood…

North Bridge

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places Lynn Krawczyk spends her life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you’d like to join her by posting a photo on Sunday of places you’ve been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on her Sunday posts telling her where she can find you/your photo and she’ll add a link to her sidebar so others can find you. I am one of those that Lynn has badgered into joining her, I have changed it to “where I stood”, because right now I’m sitting in front of the computer, not standing anywhere.

City of the Big Shoulders, Hog Butcher of the World

That’s the way Carl Sandburg saw Chicago, I saw it slightly differently. City of art. City of music. City of stuff going on, everywhere!

First, we drive across Michigan, past Michigan City, Indiana, to a commuter train station at Beverly Shores. The trains run about every two hours, with sleet and snow we have cut the timing very close, amazingly close. We arrive at the station two minutes late, the train is five minutes late, we make it! Then an easy trip into Chicago, where we eat lunch at Miller’s Pub, a classic. You can tell by all the photos of old celebrities in the place. The proprietor with George Burns, the proprietor with Milton Berle, you get the idea.

Me at Miller’s Pub

Then onto Millennium Park. Us in front of the big screen, and lots of pictures of the big shiny bean.

I love the big shiny bean!

We meet up with our friends, Todd and Deb, whom I was too stupid to get a picture of. We all go out to the House Of Blues to see Joanna Conner, and got our fill of Blues.

Me at the House of blues-always makes me want to redecorate my house!

Our friends let us crash one night in their very swanky hotel. The next day Mark and I stop by a little museum called Luma where we see a wonderful show called “The Art of the Creche”, rooms filled with nativity scenes from all over the world, beautiful! We find Wicker Park, a funky part of town, where I went bead shopping at Beadnik.

Lets see, how many skull beads can I afford?

Walking back from Wicker Park, Mark shot these images of a flat building beautifully painted. Even the bay windows are tromp l’oeil.

Then a little window shopping at Water Tower Place, where everything is decorated and shiny!

Then we head back, where again we just make the train, not quite as dramatic as the first time. We stop at the Shoreline Brewery for some wonderful suds and grub, and back home to the waiting cats. Great way to continue celebrating my birthday!

Saugatuck

Yes, boys and girls, Leann had a blast! Seven women in one house, visiting cute little shops, looking at art, comparing life notes, eating, playing games, and, oh yes, a little bit of drinking now and then.

We had the top floor of this place, very spacious and quite wonderful. We had a fire both days, and when the cd player didn’t work, the owner ran out and got us a new one!

Turtle sculptures we passed on the way into town.

Someone with a sense of humor outside a motel.

Some of the sculpture around town.

Ann and Shirley relaxing.

Kristie taking it easy.

Shelly, very relaxed.

Stephanie has picked up an addiction to 7-layer bars.

Leslyn relaxing with a bite to eat.

Perhaps part of the reason we’re so relaxed.

No one minded my putting their pictures on the blog, as long as I included one of myself. So here I am, bright eyed and bushy tailed.