Friday, August 17, 2012

Casting for Recovery weekend

While perusing the flyers at Pathways, I came across the Casting for Recovery brochure. If you haven't heard of it and are a breast cancer survivor, you should definitely check it out. They host fly fishing retreats across the country. And it's free for participants! It is positively amazing how generous people can be and I for one am truly appreciative of their donations of time, money and spirit.
Our retreat was on the first weekend in June in Siren, Wisconsin. We had time to socialize and get to know each other. Then we got into tying flies, learning to cast and making lanyards for our guides and prayer flags. It was so fun! And finally on Sunday morning we each got our own guide and we tried our luck at actual fly fishing. I met some beautiful and strong women, both participants and volunteers. We had lots of laughs and a couple of tears too. I was the only Stage IV girl there, thankfully for them but sad for me. Nevertheless we bonded on that level that facing cancer brings. If I could do it every year I would. Maybe I'll become a volunteer...

We gathered up all our gear and learned to tie some basic knots
Outside of the Lodge at Crooked Lake we tried our first attempts at casting
It's good to have a bit of instruction first!
One of the neat things about the weekend was the swag, I'm not gonna lie :-) We had goodies on our beds when we checked in and when we left. We also got a graduation bag of goodies. At lunch one day we all had our names drawn for gift baskets. At The Hartford, the main sponsor of the retreat, the employees have contests to make up the best gift baskets. The winning baskets are given to the participants. When my name was chosen I got a big styrofoam cooler of grilling utensils and condiments which was great but I had most of it already. My table mate drew a box of cupcake making goodies. Didn't take too much for us to realize we liked each other's baskets so we traded! Her husband was going to love all the grilling gear and I'm making cupcakes. yea!
This is a wooly something or other. I did not catch a fish with it but it looks like a fish would think it was tasty. I guess?
My prayer flag
The beautiful Crooked Lake
Gotta have all the gear, right? I'm suited up and ready to fish.
Knapp Creek, just south of Siren. A beautiful place to be, fishing or not!
Proof I caught a fish! No that's not bait, that's the fish.
My new friends Lisa and Catherine (her guide) reeling in one of her catches
I couldn't have wished for a better weekend. Great company, great weather, great fun! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Holiday Weekend Visit

Memorial Day weekend we had a great visit from Aunt Susan and Uncle Erik. I was recovering from surgery and they offered to come and take care of us for a bit. Yea!
We started off with a trip to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
Which included a ride on the carousel. Katy actually enjoyed it very much, even if the photo doesn't show it.
We also spent some time with Nana and Papa. One of our excursions was to Smalley's Pirate Bar in Stillwater. Apparently they are the home to the hottest wings, even hot enough to almost make Triple D's Guy Fieri cry! We polished off one plate of six wings and they were indeed the hottest.wings.ever. I had one bite then promptly ordered the milk and ice cream sandwich platter. Good gravy that was too much. (Katy wanted one but wisely, we said no)
The rest of the weekend we hung out, played around and did some chores around the house. Erik fixed my remote (woot!) and the crib (double woot!) and Susan cooked some amazing meals (yum!). Erik also set us up with some XBox360 games and we had loads of fun flailing about. Wish I had pictures of that!

Not sure why she wanted to tape herself together...
Having fun on the rocks soon to be added to the rain garden.
Beating the heat with the fun pool rings from Nana.
Part of our holiday celebration involved these yummy Snow Cone Cupcakes. Despite the crappy picture, they were quite spectacular. They even had foil sparklers on them and sugar crystals so they looked like snow cones. 
We love having visitors and especially loved having Auntie and Uncle here! We won't get to see them again until Christmas and we're looking forward to it.