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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Family Grows.... Welcome Sean!

Sean Michael arrived at 2:11 pm this afternoon.  He weighed in at 9 lbs 6 oz and is 22 inches long.  Mom and Dad are delighted to share him with adoring first time grandparents, two aunts and nine uncles.

Diane & Damon await
the birth of their son
in Nashua, NH.

The Staff directs us to
the Maternity Area.

Eric & I keep ourselves
busy while we wait.

Sean Michael is
twenty minutes old.

He is carefully examined.
The nurse tells us what she
is doing and why.

Daddy watches over
his first born.  He will
 report everything to
 Diane, who is resting.

Damon's parents, Marilyn &
Bruce are thrilled.

Uncle Adam inspects Sean,
and he approves.

Eric takes a break from
taking pictures to pose for
this three generation photo.

Congratulations Diane and Damon.  You do great work together!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Rate State Capitols? Here's Our Criteria

Eric and I reviewed the State Capitols we visited.  Each is different.... The construction materials used, the landscaping and exterior statuary, the interior style of the building, the presentation of symbolism and the history of the state are all very important. Each state makes its statement differently in the construction of and presentation of their State Capitol. 

We found that having visited 10 State Capitols, we weren't comfortable with a numeric rating system... We haven't visited enough Capitols to rate this way with any sense of confidence. 

With only 10 State Capitol Visits, we have two criteria to present: Capitols Where We Were Excited by Our Visit OR Capitols Where We Had Mixed Reactions to Our Visit.  These criteria are obviously not quantifiable, but I can put forward a list of State Capitols that we were excited and energized by our visit and those Capitol visits that left us with a kind of sad feeling.

Capitols Where We Were Excited by Our Visit

Eric & I were amazed that the
Ohio Statehouse doesn't have
a security gate and guard.

The tour was very thorough,
showing off the state's history,
symbols & artworks.

 Oregon's State Capitol is
Art Deco, completed in 1938.
It is open and spacious with
murals of Oregon's history.
Our tour was AMAZING.
I "gaveled in the Senate" &
Eric "signed a bill" at the
Governor's Desk.
*No Security Gates

The Idaho State Capitol is
open 7 days a week! 
There was no tour on Sunday, 
but the building is very open....
We went into the legislative 
galleries to take pictures.
The artwork is very beautiful.
*No Security Gates

 Eric was very impressed with the
setting of the Utah State Capitol.
Skylights provide natural lighting
in the Legislative Chambers.
  The interior walls are covered with
 sheets of marble. The steel doors
 are painted to look like wood.
*No Security Gates

The Wyoming State Capitol has
beautiful painted walls, marble floors
& sweeping cherry staircases.
The archways are picturesque.
Our tour guide shared the history
of the building, including some
scandalous stories.
*No Security Gates

Gloria provided an in depth tour of
the Nebraska State Capitol.  This building
has Classical and Gothic architectural
themes.  Attention to symbolism,
 natural history and artwork portraying
 Nebraska's history are on display.

Eric and I went up to the spire to see
art work there & take picture
of Lincoln from the top of the Capitol.
*No Security Gates

The Iowa State Capitol was set up with
many tables for the Annual World Food Prize.

This Renaissance style building has
beautiful Legislative & Supreme Court
Chambers.  The Law Library is stunning, with spiral staircases, antique furniture. The venetian glass
mosaics are amazing!
Eric & I went up into the dome. 
*Security Gates

The New York State Capitol
charmed  Eric.  Restorations to the
Great Western Staircase, Skylights,  &
the Assembly Chamber are beautiful.
  The Hall of Governors is wonderful.
**Having visited this Romanesque
 & Neoclassical building often,
I let Eric review it.
*Security Gates

State Capitols Where We Had Mixed Reactions to Our Visit

The Illinois State Capitol Tour was
short and lacked information.
The interior and works of art were
nice. We may have appreciated them
more, had there been explanations.

Eric noticed this State Capitol has
the most burnt out light bulbs of all
the Capitols we visited. 
*Security Gates

The Indiana State Capitol tour
was very good, filled with information.
Indianans are practical & the Capitol
shows this. Eric & I were disappointed
 by the Legislative Chambers that had
 been made smaller to make space for
the Legislators' Offices.
*Security Gates

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday at Rotterdam Square Mall

After lunch at The Point with Eric's Mom
 and friend Mike, Eric and I went  to
 Rotterdam Square Mall  for a walk.

KMart had a surprise greeter.

Nicole is modeling
comfy pajamas.

Eric chats with the
Salvation Army bell ringer.

The kids are grooving to
Just Call Me Maybe
with Radio Disney.

TJ Maxx was busy!

This lovely lady was offering
a discount with a new credit card.

This Yankee Candle employee
was showing off her holiday spirit.

I can't resist the Superman
Bouncy Bounce in the
Food Court.

Santa is very busy today.

Eric and I had a very nice walk and enjoyed the people watching.  
Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday Season.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Around the Motorhome: One Easy Job and One... Not So Easy Job

The motorhome needs some attention.  

Eric goes up on the roof to clean
the solar panels.

The solar panels are cleaned
with a damp cloth.  Then,
Eric dries them off.

Watch out for the wires!

Mission accomplished....
in about five minutes.
Now for the more 
challenging job.

A cord on one of the day/night
window shades is broken.
The RV Shade Repair Kit we
bought from The Dirty Blind Man
has a step by step instructional CD.

Eric follows the step by step
instructions. He's tying the
strings to the spring.

 This is a two person project.
An extra hand is needed.

The spring is taped into place at
the top of the night shade bracket.

The strings easily thread through
the pleated night shades.

Here's a surprise.  The strings
are crossed before threading
through the day shade section.


The brackets are carefully
slid back into place to connect the
night & day shades together.

Time to put the caps back
 on the ends of the brackets.

The string goes through
the bottom cap.

The night/day shade has
 been put back together.

After a motorhome wide search
(that took half an hour) I found
the bobbins we bought at
the Winnebago factory for
the project. 

Time to attach the string
to the bobbins. 

The bobbin is screwed into
a stand-off at the
bottom of the window frame.

The instructional CD stated that putting the window shade back together would take one to one and a half hours.  It took over two hours....  This included the half hour search for the bobbins.  

Attaching the window shade to the top of the valence and screwing the bobbins into place took about half an hour.  This window shade is next to the couch and Eric needed me to hold the shade and a flashlight to complete the installation. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Capri Imports Italian Deli and Catering, Schenectady, NY

Eric and I took a walk today and while walking decided that we wanted sausage and linguini for dinner.  Bonfare at 2009 Broadway in Schenectady didn't have any sausage to sell; as we hung our heads in sadness, one of the customers recommended Capri Imports Italian Deli  and Catering at 2617 Broadway, Schenectady,NY 12306.  This is perfect!  Capri Imports is our way to Eric's   Mom's house.  

Capri Imports Italian Deli

 Catering.... we
should try some.

Salads and olives,
oh my!

Eric is looking for
Sharp Provolone Cheese.

There's a nice assortment
of olive oils to check out.



Dishes and Espresso
pots for coffee.

There's a lot to explore
in this small shop.

Eric told me that he was glad that this shop is not so close to his Mom's or he would be walking over for treats all the time. Well, we leave Capri Imports Deli and walk one block before turning onto Summer Street.  This is two block's from Mom's!  Oh, no!  I have to keep an eye on Eric or he'll be eating Egg Plant or Chicken Parmesans every day.....  We'd have to walk A LOT to burn off the good foods we found today.