Tag Archives: Green Bay

Older Than Dirt: A Photo Challenge Part 2

Hi there!

This is my 2nd entry to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge:  Older Than 50 Years.  As usual, my photos are more about the stories that go with them, and less about the photographic composition.   I’ll have to make this short and sweet though, because I seem to have gotten tendonitis in both of my elbows and my right arm is flaring up right now.  And if you really believe that will keep me from writing a long dissertation then I have some swamp land under the Leo Frigo Bridge I would like to sell you.

Last post (you can read it here if you missed it) I told you about a mini family reunion we had and the stalking finding of our 3rd cousin Randy, still living on the original Conard family farm.

Our jolly caravan’s next stop was to visit my grandparents cottage on the bay, where we spent many a spider-filled day.  The original plan was to park on the road and peer thru the leaves at it while trying not to be noticed (or arrested), and then mosey on to my house for lunch.  However we were spotted by the current owner, Callista, who graciously invited us in and let us run amok on her property while we ooohed and aaaahed over our collective memories.

Callista was as thrilled to hear our stories as we were to hear hers.  While the interior is completely different, much of the exterior has the same feel, mainly because they kept the original stonework of the outside walls and fireplace – built with bay rock picked from the shore by the original owner (not my grandparents).

The door is gone, but you can see the space where it was.  That door survived a lot of grandchildren banging in and out of it all summer.  My sister and I got a little teary eyed walking across the cement steps.  Lots of memories there.

The door is gone, but you can see the space where it was. That door survived a lot of grandchildren banging in and out of it all summer. My sister and I got a little teary eyed walking across the cement steps. Lots of memories there.

The same wet cement steps that our young feet ran across when we banged thru the wooden screen door into the cottage to play crazy eights and drink bug juice. The same stoney corridor along the outside back of the house where chips of blue china were cemented in the grout and waves of bright green moss spilled across the top.  The same slab stone steps leading to the same rocky beach with the same boat house, although the front portion was gone.  They even had a hammock where my grandparents used to have one.

New, steel supported steps were built over the top of the old stone slab steps leading down to the beach.  Much safer, but I am glad they left the old ones underneath.

New, steel supported steps were built over the top of the old stone slab steps leading down to the beach. Much safer, but I am glad they left the old ones underneath.

What was missing?  Besides the front section of the boat house, I spotted only a few spiders – most of them quite small.  I swear when we were kids the spiders were the size of quarters and had huge bulbous abdomens and they hung on EVERYTHING.  I remember calling for grandpa to beat webby paths thru them in order to get the bamboo fishing poles or the black inner tubes we used for swimming.  Before going to bed my cousins and I would call for grandma to spider proof the bedrooms and make sure we didn’t have any in our sheets.

A note about the boathouse:  As kids, we spent very little time in it (spider haven – the really really big ones lived inside the boat house) but a lot of time on top of it, as it served as a beach deck.  A web and spider covered beach deck which I recall being a bit freaked out about.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?  I hated spiders.  Still actually not a fan.

Anyway, my grandfather got a really good deal on some irregular cinder block – which couldn’t have been too bad seeing as the boat house is still standing.  He sent my Uncle Jim and my dad and some guy who had access to a milk truck to go pick it up.  Now remember, this was the early 40’s so you need to get that image out of your head of the giant tanker trucks you see running around today.  This was probably more like a 1935 panel truck or something.

My uncle, my dad, and the driver were hauling the load of cinder blocks to the cottage when the transmission broke.  My uncle said they “broke gear box” just as they were about to go down the escarpment to the cottage.  I’m not sure what that hill looked like in the 40’s but I can barely ride my bike up it now without needing oxygen, so I’m sure it wasn’t any better.  It was, needless to say, a harrowing descent, well remembered by two mid-80 old farts.

They laughed when they told this story, but fewer smiles appeared when they described how they had to haul that cinder block down to the beach two at a time in a wheelbarrow.  Which leads me to the next tidbit – there was a family of girls in the next cottage down – one of whom still lives there and happened to come talk to us while we were visiting.  I am sure there were many girlish eyes stealing glances at the sweaty teenage boys building muscles while hauling cinder blocks….

Obviously we had to take our picture on top of that iconic building and I was a little worried about the actual structural integrity left in those old block walls.  All that boyish hard work paid off however, because the boat house still supported the weight of a bunch of older than dirt cousins.  I was impressed.

We are all over 50, and the boathouse is over 75, so we all qualify.  The railing is new, thank goodness....

We are all over 50, and the boathouse is over 75, so we all qualify. The railing is new, thank goodness….

Old fartedly yours,


PS.  Besides frightening long lost relatives and imposing on complete strangers, we also visited the cemetery to say howdy to our Belgian immigrant ancestors.  great-great-great grandparents Gillian and  Marie Francoise Nihoul Conard and our great-great grandparents Louis and Marie Flore Laurent Conard and our other great-great grandparents Joseph and Mary T Boulet VanCaster (whose daughter Pelagie Blanche married Louis and Marie’s son Julian (my great grandfather), in turn having my grandfather Cliff Conard who then had my father – Thomas W. Conard).  I have pictures below for my family members who were not able to make the reunion, and of course for any weirdos of my followers who happen to have a bit of a morbid streak like me and love looking at old grave markers.  I also included a few bonus pics.  ENJOY!

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Sue the Oddball: Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

Welcome to Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge – Week 31

I had to think a little bit about what I wanted to use for my Odd Ball Photo Challenge entry, until I ran across this one.  Coming off of a very decisive Packers win against the Bears, this turned out to be a no brainer.

The Bears Still Suck

But we still love Jay Cutler.

No idea whose van this was, but the sentiments are shared by most Packers fans.  Photo was taken in February, 2010, when I went with some friends to Lambeau Field to welcome home our Super Bowl Champions.

Only in Green Bay will people stand for hours in the freezing cold just to see a bus full of football players, and take an odd sort of pride in it.  Can’t help it – we love our team and our city.

Green Bay Packers

Here comes da bus!

It certainly helps that many of our parents and grandparents remember the early years.  In fact, some of us even had a grandfather who went to high school with Curly Lambeau.

Curly Lambeau - first row on the left.  Cliff Conard - exact middle of the back row.

Curly Lambeau – first row on the left. Cliff Conard – exact middle of the back row.

For more Odd Balls – hop on over to Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge and check them out!

Meanwhile, GO PACK GO!


Grabbing A Quickie

So yesterday was warm enough for me to take my first bike ride of 2014 and it was glorious!  Only about 13 miles and it took me an hour and a half, because you know I couldn’t just ride – I had to stop and take pictures and smile.  I smiled a lot.  Like, pretty constantly.  The sun was shining, I was riding in my new neighborhood, my bike was freshly tuned, and the wind was in my hair.  Well, not really.  I had on a skull cap and a helmet.  But had my hair been free, the wind would have been ruffling it to Wind Blown Surfer Look.

Not to change the subject, but do you know how hard it is to concentrate when small, pain in the ass dogs are barking at you?  Just an observation.

Now for your entertainment, photos from my ride:


First, my baby!  All tuned up and ready to roll.  For those of you new to my biking fetish, this is my Cannondale Quik – hence the reference in my title.  Fooled ya, didn’t I?


What’s this?  Something green!!!  No clue what it is, exactly, but anything green is welcome at this point.  Taken along Nicolet Drive.


One of the coolest things about where I live now is that I am a mere 5 minutes from the Bay.  I stopped here, because I thought it was a rest stop.  Turns out it was actually someone’s front porch.  If you look over the fence, you see the house at the base of the drop off, on the shoreline.  Pretty cool and great view.  Can’t imagine hauling groceries down every week though.


Another view of the frozen Bay from the mystery front porch.

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Did I mention I am only 5 minutes from the Bay?  I LOVE IT!  Okay, this was from the boat landing off Point Pleasant.  “Boat Landing” is a generous description, seeing as there is no actual place to back up a trailer, but I am sure we can use it for our kayaks.  There’s another one close to Cousin Jeremy’s – I threatened to leave our kayaks at his house and he didn’t even bat an eyelash.  COME ON WARM WEATHER!  I’m hyperventilating here.


Water is running like crazy all over.  This is the bottom portion of Wequiock Creek, I am pretty sure.


And this would be the top of Wequiock Creek, before it tumbles over the Niagra Escarpment.  You see me using my big geological words, like I actually know my shit?  Gotta love the internet.  And now for the big finale….


Wequiock Falls!  I think in the summer this is down to a trickle, but in the spring when the snow is melting, it draws a lot of activity.  Located off of Hwy 57, near the Jean Nicolet statue, in case you wanna take a drive by this weekend.  You can stop at the Settlement and get some fish when you’re done.

Here are a few more images:

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There is a set of stairs you can take that will bring you down to the creek – I was wearing biking shoes, so didn’t venture too far past the lowest level.  Having metal clips on the bottom makes poor traction on rocks, and I didn’t want them packed with mud either.  Plus, I found out water easily seeps up the bottom of my shoes, so I ended up pedaling home with wet socks.  Totally worth it, though.


No, I did not venture into the area unmaintained by park staff.  My normally adventuresome nature didn’t want to fall in the creek.

And in case you were wondering who loves Allie….


Linda!  Duh!


Wequiock Creek after it goes thru the culvert.  It then winds thru the woods until it gets to Nicolet Drive – which was the first picture in the series.


My first of many decent hill climbs this year.  This is VanLanen Road, and I took it up from Nicolet to the Falls.  The good thing was that I got to go back down it.  What goes up, must come down, thank goodness.  You can see the Bay in the distance.

And that’s it, my friends.  I’ll see you Thursday with a house tour.







Run or Dye Green Bay

Summer Of Fun – Final Entry

Hi everyone!  Time for my final entry from the Summer of Fun, showing the last two events of the summer, both happening in September, and both at Lambeau Field, interestingly enough.  Before you give me the beans about September not being summer, remember that Fall doesn’t officially begin until September 21st, and both of these events happened before that.  Well, not quite technically, because The Run or Dye event was right on the 21st.  But it was still 4 days before my friend Vicki, who inspired the Summer of Fun, came home from Russia.  She is doing awesome, by the way, and you can catch up with her progress from her HSCT procedure at her website:  Kickin’ MS.

First up is the Zumba by the Bay Zumbathon, on September 14th.  I signed up to do this with my buddy Dawn, in honor of her birthday!  I won’t reveal her age, but she is younger than me and rockin’ her tutu and tiara on her special day.  Love you, girlfriend!

Zumba by the Bay

Happy Birthday to Dawn! Here she is, rocking her tutu and tiara. Her sister Chris is on the left, I am on the right.

Zumba by the Bay

Everybody who was anybody was at Zumba by the Bay! Midway thru the video below you can see the storm trooper gettin’ jiggy with it.

Zumba by the Bay

Costumes or Crime Scene Investigators? You decide…

This next event was the Run or Dye 5k at Lambeau Field on September 21st.  I did this run with my friend Megan, and man was it cold that morning!  45 degrees – yikes.  During the course of the 5k, you ran thru “dye zones” where they pelted you with a specific color in that zone (blue, green, yellow, and pink), but the real color blast came at the end of the race in the big Dye Zone by the stage.  They blasted music and threw out freebies, and the guys on stage (one of whom looked suspiciously like my nephew, Jake.  It wasn’t him but I kept taking his picture because the resemblance was so eerie) got the audience involved and singing along to the music.  I was leery about joining in the fracas but Megan got me out of my comfort zone and it ended up being a blast.  In the two videos, you can see the two big color throws we were in – and in the pictures you can see the results!  The shower afterwards was a little freaky.  Kind of looked like I was washing a rainbow out of my hair.

Run or Dye Green Bay

Megan and I – BEFORE

Run or Dye Green Bay

So nice and clean and shiny…

Run or Dye Green Bay

So nice and clean and…weird.

Run or Dye Green BayWaiting to run!

Run or Dye Green Bay

I noticed most of my pictures looked like I had my eyes shut, so I tried to remedy that in the next pictures.

Run or Dye Green Bay

So first I tried this….

Run or Dye Green Bay

And then I tried this. Just a little creepy.

Run or Dye Green Bay

In the Dye Zone, after the first color dump.

Run or Dye Green Bay

After the Packer color dump. GO PACK GO!

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Run or Dye Green Bay

Amazingly clean!!!

And now summer is over, and fall is upon us!  Time to move on, and like my friend Vicki, let’s move on to better health and a winter of healing and restoration, so we can hit the ground running this spring.  Keep watching my blog for fun winter activities coming up!