Notes - February 2020

I've been lazy with notetaking. I'm starting with Feb 8, and if I can recall, I'll fill notes from days prior.

Sat, Feb 1

From early afternoon until dark, I birdwatched along the lakeshore, mainly at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

Howard Marsh and Metzger Marsh contained more ice than I expected. Water areas in both of those locations were frozen over.

Lake Erie was open, of course.

I walked around ONWR. The natural estuary part was approximately half frozen.

I birdwatched at dusk up until it was dark and after it was dark at the Adam Grimm and Stagne grasslands, hoping to see Short-eared Owls.

Sun, Feb 2

Deb and I spent much of the day, all afternoon, at CP and Brad's. Brad came to our house to get the unused twin bed. I went with Brad back to Brad's house. Deb brought lunch from Shorty's BBQ. I ordered the veggie kabobs, of course.

Brad used the twin bed as Gabbie's new bed. Gabbie "helped" her Dad with assembly. Gabbie likes tools, such as wrenches.

At our house when we hauled the bed mattress to Brad's van, Gabbie helped us carry it. She even made grunting sound effect noises, like it was quite an effort. A comedian.

I saw the second half of the Super Bowl game. We arrived home near the end of the first half. The fourth quarter was the best part of the game, anyway, as the KC Chiefs came from behind to defeat to the SF 49ers.

Sat, Feb 8

Finally made back to Boochy Mama's for kombucha. My last visit occurred in early January. Kombucha is probably my favorite beverage to drink after water. Occasionally, Deb makes kombucha. She has a big container fermenting now. In the winter, our house temp is on the cool side, which makes the fermenting process take longer.

In the evening, Kim, Deb, and I went out for about six hours, visiting nearby places Backyard BBQ and Pat & Dandy's.

Tue, Feb 11

Visited Gabbie and Dominic from 12:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.


Fri, Feb 14

Deb's flight back from Atlanta was about two hours late. The delay in Atlanta was due to a plane not being available for some reason. Her flight landed at Detroit at about 12:50 a.m. I waited in the cell lot. A plane flew low over me for landing. A minute or so later, Deb texted, saying that her plane had landed. Only a handful of vehicles were at the McNamara terminal, picking up people. I don't think that I have ever seen the terminal that sparse of vehicles for a drop-off nor a pick-up. I have dropped Deb off at the airport very early in the past, but this was probably the latest that I made a pick-up. We arrived home at 2:00 a.m.

Sat, Feb 15

In the morning, I walked Barney, and Deb attended a yoga workout.

Originally, we had planned to spend time in Milan, Mi today, visiting the Mother Loaf bread bakery and the Original Gravity craft brewery. Before leaving, I checked the Mother Loaf website to confirm their hours of operation, and I learned that Mother Loaf had closed down back in December. We decided to stay around Toledo.

At midday, we went to downtown Toledo. We started at Boochy Mama's where we got our two glass howlers refilled with kombucha.

Then we went to the Original Sub Shop for lunch, arriving at 1:15 p.m. We both ordered the large serving of their curry chickpea salad that also contains carrots and celery. We have eaten it in the past, and it's a fabulously simple dish. They served it on a late with a good amount of small tasty pita bread wedges. They make or buy delicious pita. They were out of a vegan Indian lentil soup, but they had enough to give us small samples, and the soup tasted great. Deb ordered some veggies too. I nearly ate all of my chickpea salad, but we got some to-go containers to take we we did not finish. We bought Boochy Mama kombucha at this place. I also ate a small bag of potato chips. We love this place.

We considered eating lunch at Leaf and Seed, the new vegan restaurant, which is located nearly next door to Boochy Mama, but Leaf and Seed was quite busy, which was nice. They always seem very busy around midday on Saturdays.

We left the Original Sub Shop after 2:00 p.m., and then we went to the Main Library, located in downtown Toledo. I think that the Main Library re-opened in 2019 after a lengthy renovation, and man, it looks fabulous now. It was fine before, but kudos to whoever created the new redesign. It's a great place to hang out, and we did not explore all areas.

Deb and I spent time viewing books, and we checked out several books. I made notes of additional books that I made need to checkout later.

We viewed an amazing bird photography artist exhibit. The art exhibit runs to May 23.

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library has unveiled a new exhibit on the majesty of migrating birds. “Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes” showcases stunning images that portray the passage of time. It runs until May 23 at Main Library’s Gallery.

Stephen Wilkes spent much of 2017 in the field documenting bird migration routes for the March 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine. For “Day to Night,” he curated compelling scenes from more than 1,500 images. Wilkes captured these landscapes from a fixed vantage point over the course of 15 to 30 hours, from sunrise to sunset. He provided a narrative with the images explaining how he composed these photographs.

The exhibit also features four mega-prints of bird migrations, roughly 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide, displaying the theme of conservation.

Birding is ingrained in our region’s DNA! Northwest Ohio and the Lake Erie shoreline are uniquely situated alongside migratory patterns. Each spring, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area hosts The Biggest Week in American Birding, drawing tourists from around the world.

Join us for an upcoming Authors! event with naturalist and author Kenn Kaufman. Kaufman will speak about the science and magic of spring bird migration throughout this region. He is the only person to twice receive the American Birding Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. The free event is 7 p.m. March 12 at Main Library McMaster Center.

We left the Main Library after 4:30 p.m., and we arrived home after 5:00 p.m.

Sun, Feb 16

Deb and I left home after 11:00 a.m. for the lakeshore area. We birdwatched from 11:42 a.m. to 3:18 p.m. with nearly all of that time spent at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

After birdwatching, we drove to CP and Brad's house. We arrived at 4:20 p.m., and we left two hours later.

After arriving at CP and Brad's, Gabbie commandeered me. We went right into playing. She pointed out some toys to me, such as a baby doll, seated at toy high chair. I sat on a small chair at Gabbie's tea table. She served me tea and other toy food items. Deb was in the living room with Dominic.

After playing for a bit in the play area, Gabbie had us move to her bedroom to play with her entourage of stuffed animals. I saw at least one more new stuffed critter added to her crew.

Gabbie brought in a toy chair to permit her to climb up onto her dresser. She had me retrieve crayons and a notebook of paper. I drew birds, and Gabbie colored.

We pretended play night-night. She had me lie down on the floor. She gave me a pillow and her blankie. She kissed me goodnight. She turned off her overhead light and closed her door, and then she would return to wake me. And repeat.

Dominic ate spaghetti for the first time. Of course, it was a photo opportunity. Apparently, Dominic enjoyed the experience. Gabbie kept me playing in her room.

After Dominic ate, Brad placed him into the tub. Gabbie liked that idea, so she took a bath too with Dominic. I watched. I used my finger to make popping noises with my mouth, and for some reason, Dominic found that hilarious. He made this hard laughing noises that I never heard him make. Every time I made that popping noise, he laughed hard. Gabbie was not too impressed.

After bath time, we played in the living room. I held Dominic and I played with Dominic on the floor. Gabbie ate some dinner. We left around 6:20 p.m.

Thu, Feb 20

For dinner, we visited Whiskey and the Wolf for grub and beverages. I ordered my usual: Impossible Burger, sweet potato fries, and an old fashioned.

After W&W, we stopped at Pat & Dandy's for a pint of Crunchy Hippie brown ale, made by local craft brewery Ernest Brew Works. It was musical trivia night at P&D. We caught the last part of it. It was fun. We sat at the bar.

Fri, Feb 21

In the late afternoon, I went up north and road with Brad, Gabbie, and Dominic to the Imagination Station, located in downtown Toledo. We arrived around 3:45 p.m., but it closed at 5:00 p.m., which we did not realize. But Gabbie played well for an hour, and she protested that we had to leave.

At IS, Gabs enjoyed the water and sand play exhibit. She liked climbing around the tree house. The loved the grocery store. We played with other things too, but those occupied most of our time.

We could have easily stayed another hour. Dominic was chill as usual. He did not seem startled. He observed and took it all in. Brad and Dominic wandered around, checking things out.

After IS, we went back north, and I played with Gabbie until around 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. when I left for home.

Sun, Feb 23

Around mid-day, I met Brad, Gabbie, and Dominic at an outdoor playground park in Michigan, along Douglas Rd. We played from around 12:45 p.m. to about 2:00 p.m. or later. It was for over an hour. Gabbie seemed to be a tired at the end.

Gabbie went down the slides a lot. She tell me, "Babaw, slide" while pointing down at the slide. This was at the two small side-by-side slides. She would go down one, and I would go down the other beside her.

I followed Gabs around on the playground equipment. She went down the tall, spiral slide. She climbed on two arced ladders. I was surprised that she climbed the longer and taller arced ladder. Both require the climber to use hands and feet. The tall one was about eight feet tall at the top.

Sometimes when exiting the bottom of a slide, Gabbie would say, "Weee!" followed by a "Woo hoo!"

She ran around, climbed, laughed, chatted. When I sat on the swing, she tried to push me, instead of getting on a swing seat too.

For a little while, she wandered away from the playground to pick up sticks, chat, break the sticks, and then toss the sticks. We wandered around on the tennis court. Then we played a little more on the playground before Brad took the kids home.

The weather was comfy with temps near or around 50 degrees. It was sunny. The ground was dry. The place was busy with a lot of kids.

At home in the mid-afternoon, I roasted coffee beans. Six batches. For one batch, I roasted well into second crack, which produced a darker, oilier, and shinier bean. I will keep this separately from the other five batches that I roasted "normally," which means beyond first crack and right up to the start of second crack.

In the evening, Kim, Deb, and I had a good time at Mancy's Italian. We ate great food, enjoyed great drinks, and had good conversation. We stayed for about two hours. We shared two Margherita pizzas, which is probably the only exception that I make to my no dairy diet. We also shared roasted peppers and Brussel sprouts. The veggies were amazing. The pizza is the best around. And I drank a barrel-aged Manhattan, which is one of the best drinks around here, in my opinion.