Monday, November 20, 2017

Nico: The Racetrack Rescue

Marika was blessed with the the literal gift of a horse by her dear friend and mentor, Gill Grafton. Gill and Marika have shared a love of horses and riding since they met at least 15 years ago at Huntington Ridge in Holly, MI. At the time, Gill was the most respected rider at the facility and owned two large stallions. Those two horses were feared and respected by many and Gill was careful to let only certain capable riders work them. Marika became one of those trusted riders.

Fast forward, Gill went to medical school and became an advanced cardiologist. Marika, similarly mentored by Gill's encouragement, went to medical school and has chosen her own medical specialty.

Marika now lives in Chicago with her boyfriend and Gill remains in Ann Arbor with her husband and young son, Graham. Gill and Marika have kept in touch and visit one another whenever Marika is in Ann Arbor. Marika has missed having a horse and dreamed of the day she could own one again.

Enter Gill and her generous spirit. Together, Gill and Marika looked at many videos of horses coming off the racetrack and available for sale. They found Nico at a Pennsylvania racetrack, liked the way he moved in the video, paid the asking price and shipped him to a barn in Chicago near Marika.

Nico will be a "project" horse for Marika and Gill. Together they will support his needs and Marika will begin the slow process of training him to be a hunter/jumper for competitions.

This photo captures the joy Marika feels when she is near a horse and in the tack room of a barn. I don't think Nico can even begin to imagine how much he is wanted, needed and going to be loved at this time in his young life.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

At Terry Lee's Wedding

Oh! What a wonderful weekend in Albuquerque. It was Terry Lee and Andrew's wedding date on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at the Season's event space. It was also the last weekend of the nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. 

We had breakfast on Saturday morning with Elsie, our friend and the nanny to our kids when they were growing up. We had lunch at Terry's for the out of town guests who had arrived. 

We had dinner at Shelley and Herb Koffler's out in Placitas and met up with many friends from past days.

The whole week was made better by having Marika with us. She flew in on Friday night and left soon after the wedding. We walked around Old Town and stopped in The Albuquerque Museum.

Then it was time to get Marika to the airport.

Gil had taken photographs during the wedding. He edited and posted them to Dropbox; then shared them with Terry and others by email invitation.

We tried to go to the last day of the balloon mass ascension but it was cold (35 degrees) and too windy to allow the ascension go on. At least we were able to figure out the logistics of getting there -- buy tickets beforehand and take the bus to the balloon launch grounds.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

New Baby arrives on Labor Day!

We have a new baby in the family! Ellery Jane born on Labor Day. Marika was the first of us to go visit and introduce herself to the baby. Gil and I followed the next weekend. She is precious. And she was such a good baby while we were there although she was only 10 days old at the time.

We stayed at a house down the street on Knoll Street in a VRBO which suited us just fine. 

While we were in Boston, we went to an Open House to see a house that Adam and Laura had previewed earlier that week. They ended up buying the house. It was such an adventure.

They're going to love living in it. It's their first house. Their priorities were a goo school district and a reasonable commute for Adam. They have three bedrooms and a guest room downstairs. A lovely patio and yard. Nice street. A park just down the way for kids.

Their move in date is in January. I will hope to go and help them get the job done.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sunday Brunch with Arun's Family

Marika made New Mexico-style burritos and Aarti brought makings for mimosas for our Sunday morning brunch in Chicago. After brunch, we walked to the Lincoln Park zoo and all around the area until we wore ourselves out and came back home to allow Marika to rest before her scheduled night shift that night.

Arun and I left Gil at home and went out to dinner at Davanti Enoteca near North Side on Hubbard with his family and their friends. Aarti did all the ordering for our group.

I got in 13,000 steps by the end of the day. It was sunny and in the 80's for most of the day.

Gil and I drove home the next day -- Labor Day. Stopped in at the Green Well for lunch as we did on our way TO Chicago two days before.

All in all, a wonderful weekend trip!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chicago Art Institute and Terzo Piano

Having lunch with Gil and Marika on a gorgeous 70 degree afternoon in Chicago. We saw the Gauguin show at the Art Institute followed by lunch up on the Terzo Piano terrace.

The whole day was a delight. We went to Hamilton at 2 pm and then met Marika and Arun for dinner at the Willow Room. Walked there from their house but it poured down rain when we were planning to come home so we called an Uber.

An episode of Game of Thrones later, I retired to our guest room and slept the night away listening to Hamilton tunes playing over and over in my head!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fall comes to Kentucky.

While visiting with my mom and brother in Kentucky, we set up this happy little container for fall with a watchful owl and a container pot brimming with gourds and pumpkins.

We set up my return visit later in September when my mom will have a redo of her cataract surgery. I will drive down to be with her and take my turn at applying the myriad of eye drops required post surgery.

We also ordered a replacement patio door for her home which is coming in 6-8 weeks. Just in time for the cool fall weather, the screen door will be in working condition.

Visited with my brother and spent quality time with him including getting a ride in his new 2017 Camaro.

All in all, got lots of things done on our to-do list -- which my mom continues to add to in between my visits!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

The day of the total solar eclipse arrived -- August 21, 2017 -- and we were prepared. I had ordered our glasses the week before and the promised delivery date was Sunday, August 20. I had to cross my fingers that the delivery would occur on time.

It was spectacular. It was fabulous! I kept saying over and over again: "This is amazing!"

Genie, Gil and I sat out on the front porch for two hours glancing up at the sky as the daylight dimmed and the shadows remained strong. The shadows appeared as little half-moon shapes wherever a shadow showed up.

Michigan was not on the path of totality (100%) but we were expected to see the eclipse at 80% from our location. And we did.

It was the chance of a lifetime! I will never forget it.