Friday, October 17, 2014
at 7:46 PM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Anila Quayyum Agha's installation "Intersections" won the big money. It is a 6.5-foot cube, illuminated from the inside, projecting its shadows on the surrounding walls as well as its viewers. She's an art professor from Indianapolis.
I took dozens of pics during my 3 visits, and I thought Anila's was one of the best. A very large installation was outdoors and entirely made of clocks (3 huge structures that spell NOW). There were many wonderful glass pieces and paintings---far too many to add to this post.
at 12:07 PM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Thursday, October 09, 2014
As we were leaving Starved Rock State Park yesterday afternoon, we noticed a sign in the parking lot of the Lodge. Among other rules were “no hikers after dark.” So we pledged to never break that rule again-----though our hike in the morning was technically not after dark; rather, before dawn. We did a lot of hiking before we left the park in the afternoon, including 2 places we’d never been before, both beautiful spots, and without another person around. Here is John in Aurora Canyon. We arrived home at 5:45, and immediately started raking. Today, it’s back to work.
at 4:57 AM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
at 5:12 AM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Second only to Big Bend National Park at the southwestern tip of Texas, we love Starved Rock State Park in Illinois for hiking. We arrived early last evening and checked into the lodge for 2 nights. After dinner we hiked out in the light of the Harvest Moon, down the 150 steps of the wooded embankment, across the bottom of the canyon floor and back up again along a steep path and up a hundred steps to the highest point in the park, Starved Rock (where, according to folklore, one band of Indians trying to escape from a larger band, held out on the rock and starved to death). What a magical place it was in the moonlight, no one anywhere around. We made the same hike again tonight, leaving a little earlier to catch the final minutes of sunset. We took our flashlight along but were able to go much of the way by moonlight only.
Today we hiked in the canyons, our favorite one being St. Louis, where John is pictured with his arms up. Another couple of pics has me climbing up in LaSalle Canyon, and John in Tonty. Still another with me hugging my favorite horse-looking natural root sculpture. The colorful glass kinetic sculpture is new this year, sure wish I had one for Carlton Gardens.
at 6:36 PM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Monday, October 06, 2014
We got up early this morning and had breakfast at our motel and then headed northwest of Spooner in search of the one-room Julia School where my mother taught before she and Dad were married. Here it is all decked out in the morning sun. The front door was open, so I peered in but the onetime school room had been turned into a family dwelling, now in very serious disrepair. Nearby was the Rocky Ridge school, now beautified, where my uncle Don taught for a number of years.
From there we drove south of Spooner to Rice Lake where we searched out Miller's Cheese store, having promised Alex (who grew up in Wisconsin), that we'd bring her back some cheese. Nothing better than Wisconsin cheese!
We spent the rest of the day exploring southern Wisconsin under a perfectly blue October sky. The camera simply does not capture the incredible winding roads, high rocky cliffs, meandering streams and hilly countryside with cows and horses grazing in the pastures.
And then we came to Taliesin, Wisconsin's most prized architectural complex, designed and lived in by Frank Lloyd Wright. We have a Wright home in Grand Rapids, but nothing like this---though we didn't have time to take a tour. I was able to snap a picture of the house and the Wright family cemetery with chapel and his grave marker. Carlton and I have a connection with his work that few people could claim. When Carlton was 15, he accompanied me in an automobile trip to Pasadena, where I taught for 2 weeks at Fuller Seminary. I had told him ahead of time that he would not be loafing around during that time and that he'd have to find work. So while I was in class on the first day, he went door to door asking homeowners if they needed any house painting done. He returned in the evening to tell me that he was painting a famous house built by the Wright Brothers. I was incredulous. What was he talking about. He told me in all seriousness that he was painting the interior of a house designed by, none other than Frank and Lloyd Wright (e.g., the Wright Brothers!). I was so stunned that I insisted we had to go there immediately and see it, and sure enough, it was the Pasadena Frank Lloyd Wright house near the Rose Bowl. The owner was cash poor, and when Carlton came along she eagerly hired him and paid him $500 for a week's work. I told my students about it, and one of them hired him to paint her basement den the next week------only $200 for that.
at 7:49 PM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Yesterday morning we opened the Gardens, and then Alex showed up before 10 am to take over until close on Wednesday. She'll also be checking in at our house to make sure everything is in order. We saw beautiful color going through the Upper Peninsula. Here's John at Cut River Bridge. We had lunch today with my sister Kathy and brother Jonnie and Sooky at the picnic spot on the Yellow River. After that Jonnie took me out for a long ride through the farm on his 4-wheeler. Below is what's left of our farm buildings and a picture of me at the Gaslyn Creek School where I went for first grade. Also a picture of me with my cousins Norma and Darwin whom we visit every fall. The Sunset picture is outside our motel in Spooner---the beautiful Yellow River.
at 6:08 PM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Friday, October 03, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
|Yours Truly check out Grand Hotel|
|John from balcony of our hotel|
|John looking down at natural arch|
|Yours Truly with our hotel statue|
|John amid flowers|
|One of thousands of cairns circling the island|
|John on return ferry|
at 11:22 AM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Monday, September 15, 2014
|Kayla's selfie of our little crowd of six|
at 8:17 AM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Thursday, September 11, 2014
We spent last Sunday/Monday on Mackinac Island, perfect weather, wonderful half-price lodging (after Labor Day) and big disappointment that I forgot to transfer my camera into the backpack before we got on the ferry with our bikes. So, I purchased a throw-away camera and am hoping to get the developed pictures back next week. On our return drive to Grand Rapids, we visited Hardwick Pines State Park, where old-growth white pines (200-300 years old) tower over our heads. It was our first visit, and we will return. The rustic chapel adds to the park's ambiance.
On Tuesday, John and I performed a major engineering project at the Gardens. We bickered about how to do it and finally combined our best concepts, and it worked. Here is pictured the old potting shed that had sunk into the dirt and rotted. How to jack it up and put a better foundation under it was the issue. We purchased a 4x8 piece of treated plywood and then used some of our 4x4 posts, strung a chain around the shed, hooked it up to our Element, and inched away. It worked--though not without a few complications. John will now do the necessary repairs and wait for it to sink back into the dirt in another 10 years.
at 7:50 AM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Friday, August 29, 2014
The previous day my long-time dream came true. Dr. Blough, who has his vet clinic next door at the shop, called me over to tell me he plans to retire and sell his beautiful 1+ acre lot mostly lawn, small house turned into clinic and small parking lot, at a price we could afford. John said the decision was up to me. I thought for an hour or so, very mixed emotions, and decided not to pursue it. We may regret it, should some terrible neighbors move in. My reasoning was certainly not financial. It would be the best decision in that regard that we could make. The 2 lots together are far more valuable than 2 separately and when we sell we would easily double our investment. But the timing of his offer was significant, coming on the eve of our 10 years of marriage. Without being overly dramatic, this decade has been damn near perfect. If we could decide our next decade it would be more of the same, both of us loving what we do, expecting to slow down as years and maybe decades unfold. I know from experience and every instinct I have that it would be impossible to purchase the property next door without it drastically changing our lives. There is no scenario I can imagine that would simply allow us to write a check and settle the matter, and I don't want to upset this incredible marriage applecart. So, I will tell him that I'm going to pass on his giving me opportunity of first refusal, which I requested of him several years ago.
at 9:06 AM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker
Friday, August 22, 2014
It's been a good week, lots of people stopping by the shop, but both of us managing to get a lot of work done amid sales and people just wanting to talk. I'm making good progress on my next book and should have no difficulty making the December 31 deadline. Last Sunday we packed the bikes in our vehicle and drove to Roselle Park near Ada, a dozen miles or so from our house. It has nice paths through a wetland and along the Grand River. Here I am taking a bit of a rest before snapping the beautiful goldenrod, bringing back memories of farm life in Wisconsin.We also had a nice evening this week with John's childhood friend Murray and his wife Lois, who came to our house for dinner, Lois bearing a beautiful bouquet she picked from her garden.
This last picture is one I took on our way to the Gardens the other day. A truck driver was taking the Beltline exit off 196 too fast. If I were a truck driver that would be me---always in too much of a hurry. Fortunately, this hurried guy wasn't hurt.
at 6:55 PM Posted by Ruth A. Tucker