Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spider (by Rob)

Have you ever seen Mary freaked out? Friday night, Mary was beyond freaked out when she caught a glimpse of a spider on the way out to the hot tub. After getting a flashlight, she found this spider (almost actual size):

Immediately, Mary googled "spiders" to try and identify it. She saw some spiders online that are even more scary and big than ours, which freaked her out more.

She found a website where you post a spider pic and they identify it for you. Ours is a Barn Orbweaver. Nocturnal, harmless, (supposedly) eats their own web every morning, and is the type of spider Charlotte of Charlotte's Web is based upon.

EPILOGUE: Saturday night, I killed the spider after smushing it a few times. Mary still hasn't gotten rid of her heebie-gebbies. She tiptoes to the hot tub looking around for anything moving. Fortunately, no spider since. And hopefully, no eggs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School (by Mary)

After a few miracles, I was finally able to register for ARTS 260: Basic Photography! I did use a few of my connections in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and my benefits waive me from tuition! After over three years, I am a college student again!

I emailed my TA yesterday (who I am older than), because I missed my first class on Tuesday, and we all know that I'm a kiss-a$$. My assignment, due this morning at 9am, was to take 250 pictures with my digital camera- just point and shoot. 250 is more photos than you think. I was a bit nervous about my first class today, but I feel back in the groove already. Below are a few of my favorites photos. Just keep in mind no special settings were used on these photos, so they are very basic.

(yes, I got that close to a spider-- click on it to see the detail)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mary on the Radio (by Rob)

The radio station promotes blood donations over the summer because that's when donations really drop off. So I was talking today about how chicks dig guys who give blood, mostly because of the bandage on their arm. Mary called and weighed in on the subject.

Press play to listen:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newspapers Love Ray (by Mary)

Ray was featured in Sunday's paper from Clarksville, TN, where he is stationed. Click here to read the article.

For the record, I do not like to consider myself the reason Ray is in the Army. I am smarter, though :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pictures from August

I'm finally getting around to posting some non-poison-ivy pictures.

Here is the beautiful and tasty cake that Sarah made for Muvey's retirement party.

Dot and Rob stretching after the bars a few weeks ago...

And, what you've all been waiting for...the reveal of our house with new siding and shutters!

And, after!

Finally, the floors in our basement are installed!

Barack Obama at the Richel Baptism

We were tied up over the weekend with family, otherwise we would have met Barack Obama.

Ted's sons Gavin and Gunnar were both baptized Sunday in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Barack happened to be in Eau Claire and dropped by the church for Sunday Service. I think Katie Richel is the blurry head in the background.

On Barack's Road Blog, it says "Barack visited the First Lutheran Church of Eau Claire, enjoying services and a sermon by Pastor John Kerr entitled “The First Day of School...In addition, two youngsters were baptized at First Lutheran this morning, Gunnar Clark and Gavin Richel."

No word whether or not Barack accepted Ted's invitation to be Godfather.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The In-Laws Are Here! (by Rob)

Over the weekend, Marti and Terry visited. Terry took me out for my second golf outing this summer (thanks a bunch!). Marti is sticking around until Friday night. Today, she's folding clothes... including my underwear. It's nice to have visitors who clean up after themselves and then some.

Mary and Marti canned some spaghetti sauce from our tomatoes. So now the question is "when can we crack into our cans?"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Hills Here (by Mary)

To get an idea of how many hills Rob will have to run at the Flying Monkey, compare it to the elevation chart of the Illinois Marathon next April:

I'm an idiot (no news to Mary)

I signed up for the Harpeth Hill Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville Nov 18th. Why am I an idiot? Because you need hills to train on hills... Champaign has few hills! And they're not like the ones in the marathon. Here's the elevation chart:

It's called the Flying Monkey because the park is home to an endangered species of flying monkeys, rarely seen by humans... or so they say.

Ivy Update (by Rob)

As Mary mentioned, I got a steroid shot yesterday. I was hoping the shot would help my performance on a 16 mile run today. That was not the case.

I want to thank Ryan Pankau for recommending the shot. He's a frequent P.I.G. (poison ivy getter). He said "Dude, go get the shot." I still have blisters, but they're receding.

The big blisters we have pictures of were ready to just explode - they were like brats... poke them and juice flies everywhere. Now, I feel like I can rest my arm on a table without worry of squirting Mary in the eye :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Poison Ivy is worse! (by Mary)

Rob decided to stop by Convenient Care today, because his poison ivy blisters grew overnight. He received steroid shots and some new cream to make him more comfortable. So far, no progress. Since I have to live with the nastiness, I thought it was only fair to share the latest photos with you:

Friday, August 8, 2008

My husband is gross! (obviously, by Mary)

My apologies for leaving you with posts by Rob for the past few weeks. I was busy...with work...and...planning my mom's surprise retirement party! Rob has been busy, too, putting several coats of red paint on our new shutters, but...he doesn't require as much sleep as me :) Well, enough with the excuses. Here are some updates:

The outside of our house had a complete makeover! Next time you come visit, you'll probably drive right past it (especially since we haven't hung our house number back up)! We owe a huge THANK YOU to Ryan and Billy for trimming our trees. Now, our front "lawn" receives more sunlight, and more importantly, we don't have to worry about large branches falling on our roof during a thunderstorm.

We'd post pictures, but as Rob explained in an earlier post, I had this genious idea of using my 35 mm camera again. Now that we have finished the roll, we keep forgetting to bring our film with us to Walgreens to get developed. Soon. Maybe this weekend we'll remember!

My mother, Marti, aka Muvey, retired after 41 years with United Airlines. My sister, Sarah, and I had a surprise party for her at my parents' house, and it went very well! The food was great and plenty of people drove out to Rockton to wish Muvey congratulations. I'll have pictures of the beautiful (and soooo delicious!) cake Sarah made once we get those photos developed ;)

Between coats on the shutters, Rob is also preparing our yard for the landscapers to install trench tiles (or whatever it is called) around the outside of our house. While moving some of our existing pipes from outside of the fence, Rob must have grazed the oils of poison ivy plants. After Rob started itching earlier this week, we did find some of the three-leaved suckers hidden on the outside of our fence. The one picture I have for you today is the huge blister on his arm from grazing the poison ivy, taken from his camera phone. Should he pop the blisters?

Tonight we're having a classic date night- dinner and a movie. I gave Rob three restaurant choices: Cafe Luna, Timpones, or Escobars, and two movie choices: Wall-e and Sisterhood 2. I have a feeling it is going to be Wall-e :)

Plus, there is so much to be excited about! I'm looking forward to sleeping in, then Dot & Brian are coming for Saturday night. We're going to see a Billy Joel cover band, called Silly Joel, at Canopy Club. And hot tub, of course. And develop pictures, too!

Happy Friday!