Just so I wouldn't fade last night, I had a cup of 'coffee' at 4:00, and then also had one of Amelia's brownies and some of Neil's chocolate birthday cake after the dinner portion of the potluck. So I was a bit surprised that (even with the help of a Lunesta) I was actually able to fall asleep at a decent hour last night - 11:00. I'm a little surprised at how early I woke up this morning, but I should be able to get in a soak before we start the Neil portion of the day. Karen and Mark will be arriving from NY today (by way of Taos), so I plan to finish sprucing up our bathroom. Took care of the toilet and shower the other day, so all that's really left is a last pass on the counter, mirrors, and sinks.
Last evening Terry and Steve got Neil loaded into the van faster than the previous few times (practice makes perfect?) and we headed down to the ranch. Right before we arrived (and it's only a handful of miles away) it started to sprinkle. Upon arrival we experienced significant difficulties; even though the ramp deployed without issue, the mechanism that locks Neil's power chair into place as the front passenger seat refused to release - even though we could hear it attempting valiantly to unlock.
The three of us tried all sorts of things, and I found info in the instructions about how to manually work the ramp should the electronics fail... though that button in the back of the van did nothing to help our particular situation.
Eventually (after opening and closing the ramp countless times, turning van on and off at least the same number of times, peering underneath looking for some sort of manual release, etc.) it decided to cooperate and unlatch.... though unfortunately we really had NO idea what actually worked!
The good news was that it took so long <g> that the (first) rain shower had moved on by that point.
Great music, great food - and the circus tent that OLT had purchased this spring definitely came in handy when a serious storm blew in and dumped on us.
And also in the Serious Dept.: check out one of the tables that Mike built!
Like last Saturday it got COLD (again I was sorry I hadn't brought my heavy hoodie) during the actual storm, but once the worst of the weather moved out it was pleasant enough again.
We had a fiery sunset after the main storm. (Yes, we got more rain later.)
Erin has lots of great stickers on her cello case - I especially liked all the ones about reading, and of course chocolate - and I'm guessing there's never any question about which one is hers...
Graham visited the goats (and the piglets, though I missed that)
while Steve and mom Amelia watched.
Graham was fine as long as he avoided aggressive Mr. Billy!
The musicians played (and everyone sang) Happy Birthday to Neil at one point in the evening. It was quite clear from his beaming grin and knowing eyes that for that moment he truly understood what was going on - heartwarming!
Andy (in green) ran the string workshop this past week. He is the fine fiddle player from Whitewater Ramble, whose music I enjoyed so much last weekend.
Cynthia and Terry were checking out this decorative greenery (and we did come home with greens from the massive garden.) That round building in the background houses the communal kitchen and a couple of shower/bathrooms, all with beautiful custom woodwork.
We actually saw some blue sky at one point; I can prove it!
There are lots of old rustic structures around the ranch; I watched swallows swooping in and out of this one via openings to the right of this wonky door that caught my attention.
Not sure what's housed in this cute (and obviously newer) shed.
Last night's musicians included flautist Carl
and at one point even an accordion joined in.
Although the weather could have been better, it was still a wonderful evening! Luckily we had no problems with the van on the return home, and once we got Neil settled for the night Terry and I finished watching the movie we'd started the night before.
Now that it's light enough out I can see some blue skies.
Time to head up for a soak and get my day started.