Month: October 2011

Halloween 2011

 - by Gretel

It’s not quite Halloween yet, but we’ve already had a great deal of fun.  The merchants of Downtown Main Street in La Crosse offer a trick-or-treating event for kids which was yesterday.  I saw a bunch of great stores I’ve not been in (the point of the event, I’m sure), and the girls had a good time in their costumes.  Evelyn even tolerated her hat for most of the day.

Ilyana decided she wanted to be a Jedi this year, even though she’s never seen anything related to Star Wars (our collection is on VHS, and we no longer have a working VCR).  The lightsaber didn’t make it half a block past the parking lot, but it was an effective outfit.  We serendipitously found a Yoda costume for Evelyn, so they are a matched set.


World’s cutest Jedi.




Tasty, tasty bucket…


A matched set!

Jeffrey and I were invited to a Halloween party, so I had an excuse to make a costume for the first time in many, many years.  Jeffrey had already decided to trick-or-treat with an homage costume to Tom Baker’s Dr. Who, complete with 10 foot scarf, so I decided he needed a companion.  His twist on the costume was to include a vampire-hunting sonic stake, and to have a steampunk/Victorian twist.  I, of course, could work with that.


Dr. Who, Vampire Hunter.


Very proper scarf (that he made himself).


Care for a jelly baby?


Dr. Who’s companion.


Complete with a papercraft K-9, a pin, sonic screwdriver, and goggles, all made by Jeffrey.

We had a great time at the party!  Jeffrey will likely re-dress for trick-or-treating tomorrow, but the 3″ boots I wore are not made for walking long distances.  My hat will have to suffice.

Happy Halloween!

Enchanted Forest

 - by Gretel

It’s amazing how little time you have to enjoy the world around you when you are so focused on two small people.  We recently had a chance to visit the trails of the Myrick-Hixon EcoPark  in La Crosse in the first time since we moved here.  They host an “enchanted forest” event for little kids and trick or treating.    We decided to check it out, and had a lot of fun.

The day couldn’t have been more perfect – 50s/60s, clear blue skies, and no wind.  We tried out the backpack with Evelyn, which she tolerated very well.  Lucky for me, she had gloves on, so didn’t take off my hat too much!  Ilyana wasn’t wearing a costume for the march, but had on her panda hat.

The trail goes in a circle around the marsh, with stunning views of the bluffs.  We didn’t see much wildlife, but enjoyed the natural landscape regardless.  We hope to get back again in biking season as there are trails that go further along the marshes and the local woods.

Enjoy the pictures.  The full set is here.


Evelyn in the backpack.


It’s sort of like a costume…


Trick-or-treating along the trail.


Bluff  views


More bluff views with clear skies.



A couple marsh views.

The world of Chibi

 - by Gretel

Ever since I got my digital SLR, Ilyana has had use of my little point-and-shoot digital camera.  Most of the pictures are upshots of her nostrils, blurry pictures of the television, and random elbows and knees.  However, sometimes she gets quite a set of shots.  I’m really pleased to see that she has some natural skills at composition, since photography is something I enjoyed sharing with my dad.

Here are some examples of her shots.  I’ve deleted the nostril pictures…you can thank me later.


Daddy’s office;


The table in the living room.


A pretty typical self-portrait.


A bit more typical self portrait!


Food, number 1


Food, number 2


The best food stuff ever invented (according to Ilyana)


Evelyn 1


Evelyn 2


Evelyn 3


Evelyn 4


Evelyn 5


My absolute favorite!