Debbie Schilling and Tom Bundy's Photos Page: 2020 [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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We got the cutest mini puzzle from Carol for Christmas, with a tiny steer-shaped puzzle piece in the center. Taken on 1/2/20.
Tom went to Dayton to see his brother and mom. He got this photo commemorating the Historic National Road (I-40) while at a rest area on the way.
Here are Mike, Margaret, and Tom.
Tom spent some time cleaning out his mom's basement and came home with a vanload of stuff to sort through. Taken on 1/4/20.
We had a fun game night with friends in early January. Taken on 1/6/20.
Once we no longer had to keep the basement clean, Debbie started to process all of the cargo from Dayton. A very large box contained all of Tom's father's bowling trophies, plus a few trophies for other sports like baseball and volleyball. Over the next couple of weeks, Debbie cleaned them all, photographed each of them in a light box, and created a web page for them. Taken on 1/8/20.
As if helping Greg move in November and December wasn't enough, Tom's company was in the process of moving in January, so many free nights ended up there. Tom occasionally went to check on progress in the new office. Taken on 1/9/20.
Our grandkids both came down with pink eye, so Debbie babysat them for the day. But first, Jill and Debbie took them for a quick diagnosis and prescription at Minute Clinic.
Back at Gram Gram's house, the kids participated in one of their favorite activities: fingerpainting, but always using paintbrushes instead of fingers. These kids have never once tolerated fingerpainting. Taken on 1/9/20.
We had a quick afternoon gathering with Dana when she was in town on business. It had been four years since we last saw her in London. Taken on 1/10/20.
We wished Jesse a happy birthday when Lynn planned a surprise gathering for him at Rackz. Taken on 1/11/20.
We continued to help Greg move things out of his old house, and brought even more boxes to our house to sort, save, recycle, or give to Goodwill. Taken on 1/14/20.
Meanwhile, we were doing the same with the boxes from Tom's mom in Dayton and many more boxes from Tom's company move. Our basement was piled high with stuff for several weeks. Taken on 1/16/20.
Debbie was lucky enough to be selected as Kelly's special visitor on Special Visitor Day at her preschool.
They listened to a story, watched a video, painted a picture, and had marshmallows and punch as a treat. Taken on 1/17/20.
Tom's company move took place over a weekend. Here are the owners overseeing the progress in the new building. Taken on 1/18/20.
With the move completed, we were able to deliver the 2019 version of the company photo collage we create every year. Taken on 1/19/20.
We love adding inside jokes to our basement bar, so we had to buy Russ Hanneman's Tres Comas tequila. If you were a fan of the comedy series, "Silicon Valley," you would want to own this too, especially since the cap is shaped like a comma. Taken on 1/20/20.
In our ongoing efforts to get Claire's weight up, we feed her a lot of toaster oven treats. So it was a frozen food miracle to find these snack mixes that feature four different snack types per bag, which provides our girl with a little variety. Taken on 1/21/20.
We had a portion of our roof repaired, so while we were at it, we replaced the 20-year-old roof in the spa room which required replacing the skylights with it. It took us at least a week and numerous forms of tape to get the interior trim glued back into place. Taken on 1/21/20.
With everyone finally moved into the new office, Tom's colleagues took a moment to be fancy with an old bottle of champagne and even older plastic champagne glasses that were found during the move. Taken on 1/22/20.
One or both of us were at Tom's new office every night for over a week, working on unloading, organizing, and cleaning the new space. A lot of it was drudgery but organizing the bookshelves and technology shelves was great fun. Taken on 1/22/20.
One of the perks of being retired is that Debbie was called in for another day of emergency babysitting and had a lovely day with our adorable grandkids. Here they are coloring some pictures to put up in Mommy's room for her to see the next time she visits Gram Gram's house. Taken on 1/23/20.
Doug and Susan were enjoying a boat cruise out in Seattle featuring Schilling Hard Cider, so they sent pictures throughout the evening so that Debbie could follow along vicariously. Don't feel bad that Debbie didn't get to taste any of these, because Doug brought samples for her when they met up in Arizona three months later. Taken on 1/24/20.
After months of moving stress, Tom was wiped out. Rest, Tom. Rest. Taken on 1/27/20.
Our January gathering with Dean and Audrey was a quick dinner at Freddy's Steakburgers. Delish. Taken on 1/29/20.
Debbie continues to crash the Orchard Development department's Final Friday gatherings. January's gathering was held at Daredevil Hall. Taken on 1/31/20.
The very next day, Debbie headed north to Wisconsin. On her way north, she stopped in Cottage Grove where Cousin Stephanie hosted a houseful of relatives for dinner. Left to right: Tim, Mark, Sara, Emmie, Stephanie, Adam, and Shirley. Taken 2/1/20.
The next morning, Debbie arrived in La Crosse to help out her Uncle Ralph's family, since he had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. However, his health had taken a turn for the worse over the weekend, so plans had to be readjusted quickly. Ralph's family gathered in the lounge outside of intensive care. Heather's daughter Megan had arrived with husband, Craig, and adorable daughter, Emma. Taken 2/2/20.
The next day, Debbie and her Aunt Carol made a round trip to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where they spent about 20 minutes visiting Debbie's stepmother, Becky, and her daughter, Sarah. It was the last time Debbie saw Becky, because she died two months later. Taken 2/3/20.
While her Uncle Ralph remained in the hospital, Debbie spent several days at his home sorting through his finances and paperwork to help prepare her Aunt Bonnie to take it over after his death. The plan had been for Ralph and Debbie to do this together, but Ralph's hospitalization prevented this. After a particularly long day, the afternoon sun threw a spotlight on this portrait of Debbie's father, who had died seven months earlier. Taken on 2/6/20.
Sadly, Ralph died on February 7, and his funeral was held three days later. Immediately afterward, Debbie headed back to Indy (accompanied by her cousin Sharlot), arriving 11 days after she left. Taken 2/10/20.
You'd think we were done with Tom's office move, but no. All of the photo collages we've created for past years needed to be mounted in the hallway, which Tom did while Debbie was in Wisconsin. With limited space, we compressed some of the early years by placing two years' of memories into one frame. Taken on 2/3/20.
Debbie returned in time to host a dinner for friends. Jess had postponed it a couple of days for Debbie and also arranged for guests to bring food, with Jess bringing a delicious tray of lasagna.
Jessica and David were thrilled to finally receive their Bundlings Frequent Guest drink tags, a highly coveted item that needs to be earned. Taken on 2/12/20.
Another perk of retirement is to be able to help out friends during the work day, so Debbie spent a lot of time in January and February going to Greg's house to supervise service appointments for him. This time, it was to fix some plumbing work. Taken on 2/13/20.
It was a brutally cold Valentine's Day, and we spent it by having Thai food and then buying a used van for Jill's birthday.
We didn't need to finance it so the longest part of the process was waiting for the dealership to clean the van before presenting it to us.
If the van looks a little familiar, it should, because it is identical in every way to the one we own - same year, same trim, same color, same features. Taken on 2/14/20.
With time running out, we headed to Ohio for the last weekend of the Destination Moon exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center.
It was great to see the Apollo command module up close.
This little display was very cool: Buzz Aldrin's gold-plated extravehicular helmet visor and thermal-insulated gloves. A well-positioned magnifying glass called attention to the printing on the side of the glove. Taken on 2/15/20.
We returned from Cincinnati with just minutes to spare before both the Norwegian and Swedish song contest for Eurovision started. Of course, Debbie watched them both at the same time. Taken on 2/15/20.
Jill and Jared came by to celebrate her birthday with us. We pulled out an old time capsule from 1999 for Jill to open along with her gifts.
She also checked out the new-to-her van, but we still had to wait for paperwork before we could give it to her 10 days later. Taken on 2/16/20.
Back in the basement, Debbie still wasn't done processing all of the stuff that Tom brought back from Dayton. Last up: the boxes of vintage Christmas stuff from Tom's youth. Each treasure got its turn in the light box before being saved, tossed, or boxed up for Goodwill. This classic was a keeper. Taken on 2/17/20.
We learned from another parent of an adult with Rett Syndrome that she had gotten her daughter rediagnosed correctly after getting a genetic screen for 100 different disorders that include autism and intellectual disability as symptoms, so Debbie took Claire to her family doctor to get the test ordered. We paid for it out of pocket but check back later on this page to hear how worth it that was. Taken on 2/20/20.
We'll admit it. We are addicted to Portal Knights on Playstation 4. So when a new release comes out, we won't be coming out of our basement until we have spent hours playing it. Taken on 2/20/20.
Our friend Phil came over and this is the only photo we took. Taken on 2/22/20.
Here's Claire all bundled up for a road trip to her sister's house. Taken on 2/26/20.
Debbie attended February's Final Friday get-together at Bar Louie. Taken on 2/28/20.
It was a very sad event when we attended Ben III's funeral.
The funeral was held in the Brebeuf high school gymnasium and there was a large attendance of current and former Orchard Software employees. Taken on 2/29/20.
Every four years, a magical night happens: Audrey and Dean's quadrennial Leap Year Party! Our clever hosts put on a Price Is Right-themed party and lucky guests got to be contestants. So much fun! Taken on 2/29/20.
For the first time ever, Debbie cooked a meal using Beyond Beef. This taco "meat" was surprisingly realistic once we got past the initial shock of how it looked uncooked. Taken on 3/1/20.
Debbie came back from Wisconsin with a large box of her cousin's family photos. It took a couple of days, but she got all of them scanned and packed to return the next time she was in Wisconsin. Taken on 3/3/20.
That same day, Debbie continued her never-ending task of sorting and scanning all of the photos she inherited over the years from her grandparents. Here are all of the photos she has accumulated having to do with Schilling Electric Company, which her grandfather founded in Galesville in the 1930s. These photos were turned into the first of many posts to a Galesville-specific Facebook group over several months, where they were well-received. Taken on 3/3/20.
When Aldi has whole lobsters available for purchase, Debbie gets to have lobster for lunch. Taken on 3/4/20.
After a fun happy hour with Erin and Jess, we all got out our phones to plan our next get-together in April; this time with the boys. Little did we know that we'd be meeting virtually the next time we saw each other. Taken on 3/4/20.
By now, Debbie was committed to finishing the never-ending project of sorting and scanning her grandparents' photos. The challenging job of sorting and dating all the rest of the pictures took over the dining room table for a week or two. Taken on 3/6/20.
We had our March gathering with Audrey and Dean early in the month, which turns out to have been a really good idea. We had a delicious dinner at Pies and Pints. Taken on 3/6/20.
We went down to Franklin to pick up our grandtots for an overnight stay while their mother finished getting her house ready for Johnny's birthday party the next day. First, we stopped at Meijer to pick up some bottled water for the party, plus some berries for us and just maybe, a copy of Frozen II on DVD.
It was a nice spring afternoon for playing with bubbles.
Kelly convinced Gram Gram to get out the Easter toys and have a very early Easter egg hunt in the basement before bedtime. This turned out to be very fortunate timing, with a pandemic starting to take shape on the horizon. Taken on 3/7/20.
The next morning, we headed down to Franklin for Johnny's birthday party, where a pancake bar was on the menu.
New Indiana residents Koree and Kelsey were among the party guests. Johnny was thrilled with his Lego and Spiderman presents.
As is tradition, Johnny had to pose holding his birthday card with his age on it.
All the kids wanted to be nearby when it was time for birthday cake.
Johnny was overjoyed to get a Spiderman costume from Mommy. Taken on 3/8/20.
At the birthday party, Claire's grandmother loaned Debbie her recipe boxes so she could scan the recipes and share them with family members. It just took a couple hours and we ended up with some classic recipes. Taken on 3/9/20.
So, yeah, make sure you don't have a plastic bag of hot dog buns sitting on your stove when you turn on the wrong burner for dinner, because it won't end well. Taken on 3/9/20.
By early March, the pandemic was raging in other parts of the world and just starting to heat up here in the US. Cousin Rachel was heartbroken when she learned that Norway had closed its borders so the trip she was looking forward to was cancelled. So we decided to send her on a virtual trip instead. Here are some more of her Norwegian adventures: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Created on 3/12/20.
That same night, we learned that the 4D Summit had been cancelled, scheduled for the first week of April. We had planned a full week in Chicago around it, all of which got cancelled over the next few days as well. Taken 3/12/20.
We return again to the grandparent photo project. Debbie spent several days scanning old portraits and scrapbooks in the study. Taken on 3/13/20.
Over the weekend, the United States had woken up to the pandemic. Fortunately, we had stocked up on groceries and freezing bottles of milk for Claire over the previous two weeks, so it wasn't a problem to run into empty milk and bread displays on our last trip to the grocery store for a while. Taken on 3/16/20.
Debbie's first experience with virtual gatherings was a Zoom happy hour which replaced a gathering scheduled to occur in real life. Taken on 3/25/20.
It went so well that Debbie hosted a Zoom reunion for her Schilling relatives. Taken on 3/28/20.
After a couple of weeks of eating every single meal in our home, Debbie ventured to Aldi for a quick grocery run. Imagine her joy to find a genuine Racine Kringle right here in Indiana! Taken on 3/30/20.
Like everyone else, we tried our hand at making handmade bread, using that fool-proof recipe at the very front of our bread-baking cookbook. Yeah, it failed, yet we still enjoyed its overly dense, difficult-to-chew taste. Taken on 3/30/20.
Doug sent Debbie a screenshot of a TV show or movie he was watching. That 70s-era needlepoint sure looks familiar because it matches the one their mother made and displayed on their living room wall when they were kids. Debbie owns it now. Taken on 3/31/20.
Adventures in Pandemic Cooking: trying out that old jar of shakshuka sauce that has been in the pantry forever. We opted for cooking scrambled eggs on top of the sauce instead of poaching them, which is the traditional preparation. Weird but good! Taken on 4/1/20.
Tom sure wasn't expecting to see ants rolled up in his toilet paper on April Fools Day. His blood-curdling scream was worth the five minutes it took Debbie to get out a bag of plastic ants and hide them in his bathroom. Taken on 4/1/20.
We had some ducks stop by on a frosty spring morning. Taken on 4/2/20.
We had a fun evening playing some games with Jill and Jared using House Party. Taken on 4/2/20.
Claire enjoyed some time in our swim spa shortly before we drained it for the season. Taken on 4/4/20.
Debbie made some infused vodka for a family reunion fundraiser last fall and we drank the last two shots of what was leftover. Taken on 4/4/20.
Cheers! It's our April gathering with Audrey and Dean! Taken on 4/5/20.
On April 7, our world was changed forever when Claire was correctly re-diagnosed as having Phelan-McDermid Syndrome after years of being misdiagnosed as having Rett Syndrome, despite not having the correct genetic mutation. A much wider genetic screen discovered the deletions on gene 22q13. We were thrilled to finally have a concrete answer.
With the garden blooming so nicely, we brought some of the beauty inside. Taken on 4/8/20.
You know it is a pandemic miracle when Aunt Bonnie is using FaceTime! Taken on 4/8/20.
The first hail storm of the season is always a heart-racer. We had just put up our canopy on the patio and had to rush to take it down, but obviously, we were too busy to take a picture. Instead, we got a photo while the hail was pummeling the fire pit cover to shreds. Taken on 4/8/20.
By early April, COVID-19 had firmly taken hold of Indiana. Taken on 4/9/20.
Minnesota DNR has an eagle cam set up and we enjoyed watching every few days as the three eaglets hatched and grew larger. Taken on 4/9/20.
Debbie had a great chat with her cousin Laura on House Party. This pandemic was turning out to be great for being in contact more often with family. Taken on 4/10/20.
Sheltering in place is great when you have wine and a happy marriage. Taken on 4/11/20.
We had a fun conversation with Doug and Susan over Zoom, not realizing that we'd see them two weeks later in Arizona. Taken on 4/11/20.
We were going about two weeks between grocery store visits. Here's the socially-distanced line waiting to get into Aldi when it opened on a Monday morning. Taken on 4/13/20.
Pandemic entertainment sure was different. Every Friday for several months, Andrew Lloyd Webber posted a full Broadway show online as a fundraiser for performers, and Debbie was there to watch it (and donate). Taken on 4/17/20.
Remember that outing being planned back in early March? It happened on schedule but it was virtual. We played online games, did shots together, and had way too much fun. Taken on 4/18/20.
After seeing pictures of hot dogs with pasta cooked in them, Debbie had to try it but all we had were cocktail sausages. Behold the end result. Taken on 4/19/20.
Debbie's stepmother died on April 16, and exactly a week later, we had driven to Arizona to oversee the cleanup of Debbie's dad's condo. We raced to get there at the same time as Debbie's stepbrothers. Dan and David were at the condo with us to pack up their rental van on 4/23/20, ...
... then stepsister Katy and her husband Guy arrived the next day to do the same thing.
In all, it was an amazing trip, partly because it was surreal to go on a road trip during a pandemic, and partly because we got to spend several days of our trip with Doug and Susan, including Susan's birthday. Read all about the trip here. Taken 4/24/20.
While we were in Arizona, Claire's dad was taking good care of her. He sent this picture of Claire enjoying a sunny spring weekend. Taken on 4/24/20.
With professional haircuts out of the question, we took turns giving each other haircuts. Here is the very first part of Debbie's haircut. Taken on 5/2/20.
We had to delay Dean's birthday party because of our unexpected road trip to Arizona, but it was worth the wait. We dropped off half of a party at their house, complete with shrink-wrapped shotglasses, bottled shots, confetti, streamers, activities, snack cakes, and birthday gifts, then celebrated together on Zoom. Taken on 5/2/20.
Later that evening, Debbie joined a Zoom gathering of fellow Phelan-McDermid parents. Taken on 5/2/20.
It was Claire's turn for a Covid-cut. Her hair grows quickly and about once a year, she goes drastically shorter.
Mom's haircut skills are a little rusty so she ended up taking a little too much length off for Claire's hair to still fit in a ponytail, but it turned out cute anyway. Taken on 5/3/20.
We got to babysit the kids for a night. It was the first time we had seen them since quarantine had begun. Johnny spotted the bowl of Nerf guns we acquired during Tom's company move and asked very sweetly to play with them, so Gram Gram goggled up the kids and let them aim for the basement disco ball.
It was a little late in the spring for our annual garden photo shoot, but the columbines were in full bloom.
Trying to get two small children to look directly into the sun for a photo is nearly impossible
It had gotten cloudy later in the day when Grandpa was done working, so we put on light coats when we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Taken on 5/4/20.
The next morning, Kelly and Gram Gram made chocolate cake for Mommy for Mother's Day.
We baked four mini-cakes. Kelly and Johnny both decorated one for practice and sampling, then a second one to give to Mommy to freeze until Mother's Day. Taken on 5/5/20.
We also took the opportunity to get a picture of the kids in their Norwegian sweaters ...
... to save for Syttende Mai (17 May, Norway's Constitution Day), 12 days later. Taken on 5/5/20.
In this brave new pandemic world, Tom had his annual checkup with his doctor via videoconference. Taken on 5/6/20.
Debbie got out of the house briefly to respond to a Find-a-Grave photo request. A genealogist wanted some closer photos of this gravestone to see the insciption on it better. Taken on 5/6/20.
This was the Fourth Annual Papperdelle For Dinner Day, in honor of our friend Cory, so we observed with bay scallops and bacon in alfredo sauce. Taken on 5/7/20.
Speaking of cooking, we were lucky recipients of several food deliveries from Greg when dropping off or picking up Claire. This was bacon-wrapped pork, stuffed with jalapeños and cream cheese. Taken on 5/10/20.
Debbie was heartbroken when Eurovision was cancelled, but the void was filled with amazing online Eurovision Home Concerts, featuring Eurovision performers at home performing one of their own songs and covering another Eurovision song. Here is Norway's KEiiNO performing Spirit in the Sky. Taken on 5/11/20.
The pandemic giveth and it taketh away. But it gaveth us a fantastic interactive Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt special. Taken on 5/12/20.
Mmmmm, more delicious food from Greg. We had never tried pork belly before and Greg had lots to share with us. Scalloped potatoes on the side made it even better. Taken on 5/13/20.
Another Saturday, another Phelan-McDermid parent online gathering. This time, we played Cards for Quarantine and had a great time. Taken on 5/16/20.
Are we all still quarantined? Yes! Then let's have another online Schilling gathering! Taken on 5/17/20.
One of our new Phelan-McDermid parent friends was designing a new video controller for his son to use, and he needed someone to 3D print his designed. We volunteered, and mailed him updated 3D prints of his designs nearly weekly over several months. Taken on 5/18/20.
On March 26, Tom started wearing a different funny hat to his client's daily status meetings. Two months later, he still hadn't repeated and still had many more hats left to go. Taken on 5/20/20.
Tom went into his office for the first time since he started working from home on 3/24/20. Among the many things that were different in the world was this note that his office elevator now had self-cleaning buttons. Taken on 5/22/20.
Doug sent Debbie a picture of the large selection of Schilling Cider available for purchase in his home state of Washington. Absolutely none of this is available in Indiana. Taken on 5/22/20.
With our social life reduced to online meetings, we had another gathering with Jill and Jared. Taken on 5/23/20.
Audrey suggested that we do an online scavenger hunt for our May gathering.
We took pictures of things, answered trivia questions, made videos, had a great time, and ended up in third place by the time we were finished. Taken on 5/24/20.
A month later, we got t-shirts from Let's Roam commemorating the day.
At the end of May, we went on our second pandemic road trip, this time to northern Minnesota to pick up things from Debbie's father's cabin. We drove up to the Twin Cities and spent two nights there, just as the demonstrations and riots were taking place. From there, we drove up to Bemidji and back in one day.
At the cemetery near Bob's cabin, we saw the headstone that had been installed on his grave sometime earlier this spring.
We stopped by Vining, Minnesota, on our way back ot the Twin Cities where we saw a park full of sculptures created by Ken Nyberg, father of astronaut Karen Nyberg. The timing of our visit was perfect, because Karen's husband, astronaut Doug Hurley, would be launching the next day on the crewed Dragon mission.
On our drive home, we stopped to pick up and drop off things with three different sets of relatives. At Heather's house, we dropped off a box of scanned photos and picked up several more boxes and bags of photos to scan. Proper social distancing was observed each time. Read all about the trip here. Taken May 28 - 30, 2020.
Two days later, demonstrations and riots had spread across the country and the Indianapolis area was under a curfew. Taken on 6/1/20.
Not long after that, Tom spotted an unusual comment in the delivery tracking of a package on its way to him: "Civil demonstration delayed your package in transit. Delivery will be rescheduled. Check back for updates." Taken on 6/4/20.
We put up a Mason bee nest this spring and were rewarded with our first visits from leafcutter bees building cocoons. Taken on 6/4/20.
Being Portal Knights addicts, we were thrilled to finally beat all of the hard mode bosses after well over a year of playing. Taken on 6/4/20.
While in Wisconsin, Debbie had picked up a fresh batch of unsorted pictures from her cousin Heather and started to tackle the project. Taken on 6/4/20.
By the next day, she had twenty years of Heather's family portraits gathered, weeded, and sorted by date.
The stacks of random photos, envelopes of prints, and childhood portraits took a while to get organized, but making order out of chaos is fun for Debbie. Taken on 6/5/20.
Over the next week, slides and photos were scanned and memory books were organized and photographed. Taken on 6/12/20.
We had a nice overnight visit with the cutest grandkids on the planet. We found some pretty flowers to bring inside. Taken on 6/6/20.
The next day, we worked on one of Kelly's Kiwi Crates, creating a rocket launcher and decorating kites, which we took outside to fly.
The highlight of the day was playing in Gram Gram and Grandpa's inflatable pool, playing "Go Away/Come Back," which is the most hilarious game ever when you are 4 and 5 years old. Taken on 6/7/20.
We had driven to Minnesota to pick up Debbie's father's van. Since then, we repaired the windshield, changed the oil, deep-cleaned it, got two recalls fixed, and filled the tank. We sent it home with Jill, just as her late grandfather had wanted. Taken on 6/7/20.
Ahhhhh, yes, it is heavenly to float in the pool and relax. Taken on 6/11/20.
Debbie received a copy of this wonderful children's book, "The Apron," from her stepbrother-in-law, Guy, the author of the book. It's the sweetest book. Taken on 6/12/20.
The very next day, his wife (Debbie's stepsister) sent her a box of treasures from the cabin that Debbie had missed when going through it a couple of weeks ealier. Taken on 6/13/20.
Some of those treasures are now stored in Debbie's great-grandfather's safe which we brought back from the cabin in Minnesota.
It weighs a ton and has very little space, but it is large enough to hold Debbie's father's first two wedding rings. Taken on 6/16/20.
Greg smoked a whole bunch of BBQ pork, with half seasoned Kansas City-style and the other half seasoned Carolina-style, then invited us over for a delicious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, and cherry pie on his patio. Taken on 6/13/20.
After years of wondering what had become of a young girl named Kim, who her late mother used to visit, Debbie found her full name in an old address book of her father's. In less than an hour of online research, Debbie had learned about Kim's life, including when she died and that she had married a fellow resident of the care facility where she lied. Debbie printed these pictures and wrote to Kim's in-laws. Taken on 6/15/20.
A couple of weeks later, Debbie received a lovely letter and some pictures from Kim's mother-in-law.
Our new Phelan-McDermid parent friend, Andy, thanked us for our help with his video controller 3D prints by sending us a working system for Claire to try, activated by a simple keyfob. It didn't take her long to figure out that she needed to click the button to move the player from one video to the next, stopping every time on "Under the Sea," her favorite Disney video ever. Taken on 6/19/20.
Jill stopped by for a quick visit on Father's Day before heading to her dad's, so we had a quick afternoon beverage. Taken on 6/21/20.
Even Claire's quarterly conferences with her case manager and her day program director were now taking place via Zoom. Claire's last day at her day program was March 16, so this was the second conference since then. The first had taken place via phone, but this was a Zoom world now. Taken on 6/22/20.
After eating home cooking or fast food for months, we splurged and got take out from Red Lobster. What a nice treat! Taken on 6/22/20.
Debbie picked up some Twizzlers for Tom on an Aldi run. Or did she? Taken on 6/28/20.
With June racing by and no June gathering with Audrey and Dean on the books, we decided that if each couple watched the newly-released "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" and raised a toast with our Eurovision shot glasses, it would count as having watched the film together, which we all did. Taken on 6/28/20.
Tom got a new hat from his mother for his birthday just in time to do some yardwork in the sun. Taken on 7/2/20.
For Tom's birthday, Audrey and Dean provided a birthday-in-a-bag for us like we had done for Dean. There were party decorations, plates, straws, beverages, activity boxes, and presents, all with a Trip to Mars theme.
We donned alien glasses and funny headwear ...
... played games, and Tom opened his excellent presents.
Dessert was s'mores, complete with tiny fireplace-like votive holders for us to roast our marshmallows on sticks. So clever! Taken on 7/2/20.
We rolled out of bed the next morning and onto the couch to watch "Hamilton" on Disney+. Filmed with the original cast four years earlier, it was a performance well worth the wait. Taken on 7/3/20.
Happy Fourth of July! Debbie's Uncle Mark started off the festivities by sending us this patriotic picture of himself.
For the first time, we finally tried out the George Foreman grill our friends gave us when they tired of it. We will probably tire of it as well, but for now, we were happy with the results. Add some sweet corn and you have an All-American Fourth of July meal.
With the pandemic going on, the City of Carmel decided to cancel its huge Fourth of July event downtown and host three displays of fireworks around town instead of one central one. We were lucky to be just a couple of blocks from the display nearest us, so we set up our folding chairs on the sidewalk.
Our view was fantastic and Claire seemed to enjoy the show. Taken on 7/4/20.
The latest iteration of our friend Andy's video controller for his son had a secret message for us inside the bottom half of the controller. If you look closely at the right side, it says "THX DS + TB."
You can see it in the printed copies if you know where to look. Taken on 7/6/20.
For several years, Debbie had been trying to find the exact location of the house where her grandfather lived as a child near Burträsk, Sweden. She had seen it when she visited Sweden in 1985 but could only recall that the general location.
Scrutinizing the area around Burträsk using Google Maps had failed, so Debbie contacted her late cousin Kristina's husband, David, for help. He asked his contacts in Burträsk and discovered that one of his colleagues not only knew where it was, but that her daughter owned the house. Here's an aerial view of it in Bodbysund using a Swedish map site which had better detail than Google Maps.
Here's how the house looked back in the mid-1910s. This is a painting of a black-and-white photograph that now belongs to Debbie's Aunt Ruth. Debbie's grandfather, Sigurd, is the twin boy in blue on the right. Taken on 7/8/20.
Our local McDonald's drive-thru had a pandemic-related notice about the shortage of US coins. It made us realize that since the pandemic started, we hadn't used currency or coins other than on the two road trips we had taken. Taken on 7/10/20.
We needed to go into the Device IQ office to sign an owners' document, so we stopped by on a weekend. Even with a small office of only five employees, Tom was continuing to work from home rather than expose his colleagues and himself to anymore risk than necessary. Taken on 7/12/20.
It was like looking at a civilization from another era. Chairs, tables, and couches were set up for social interaction that probably won't occur again for a very long time.
The break room won't be hosting group lunches anytime soon. Taken on 7/12/20.
Debbie's Aunt Carol sent her an update on the Trempealeau, Wisconsin, catfish and its various stages of mask-wearing. It had a new mask that stayed in place better, and a new set of dates for Catfish Days for 2021, since the 2020 event had been cancelled. Taken on 7/14/20.
Claire got a new Leapfrog toy for her birthday. She was overjoyed with it and shook with excitement when she pulled it out of the gift bag.
We had also made some updates to the video player system our friend Andy sent her. Tom adjusted the software to make it have adjustable delays and to ignore additional clicks, and Debbie created lots of playable files from her favorite videos. Claire quickly remembered how to activate the system but made it clear that she wanted her new birthday toy back. Taken on 7/14/20.
We also bought Claire an egg swing chair. Tom assembled it for her and she tried it out. She was unimpressed but she didn't immediately try to get out, so we'll call that a success.
Even Debbie fits in it! Taken on 7/15/20.
On July 1, Debbie and Doug officially inherited one Arizona condo each from their father and stepmother. One condo was put on the market on July 8 and had an accepted offer on July 14. The other condo can't be sold because it has a lifetime tenant who included a French Toast recipe with his July rent check.
Of course, we had to try it, so the night before, Debbie assembled it and refrigerated it, then baked it the next morning. She used frozen strawberries instead of blueberries and it turned out delicious.
Claire absolutely loved it. Taken on 7/16/20.

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