[Photo Credit Mark Busch]
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Make sure you stop by our tent at the Elmhurst Farmers Market at 515 S York St every Wednesday from 7am-1pm to purchase delicious baked goods for a great cause! Also, you can place orders for pick-up at our location at 561 N. York St.Elmhurst, IL.
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We loaded the car with everything that we would need for our trip. We then made a last potty break, and headed our car up to our cottage. We were lucky to not have very much traffic on the road. Sue settled in her seat, and was at ease driving this well known route. My job was to keep her focused on the road and look for wildlife that might encounter on the trip. It started out to be a gorgeous day for driving. There was not much traffic and it was moving at the posted speed. As we ventured down the highway I noticed a dark cloud off in the distance that seemed to be dancing up and down in the sky. As we got closer to that cloud my eyes started to pick out small flecks, and to my surprise those small flecks were thousands of birds traveling together on their to a field where the they would feed. I kept on viewing the country, and I spotted a field with a group of turkeys in it. It was hen with her brood of babies. It was nice to see that group of young birds (thirteen in all) running and trying to keep up with their mother.
We kept on our course, and I kept looking for wildlife. Suddenly, Sue noticed off to her left a deer feeding in the field. It was a buck with a huge set of antlers. I was not sure, but I counted at least twelve points. This fall, he would make a hunter very happy if he gave him a chance.
It was turning out to be a very successful, with no idea of what was in store. As we got close to Milwaukee, we decided it was time for a pit stop. We made a short stop there and stretched our legs. It was short stop and we were off again. We were both surprised how green all the fields were. There were corn fields, where the corn was already knee high before the fourth of July. It was going to a good year for the farmers.
We continued our trek until we came to Green Bay. At Green Bay, we crossed the new bridge and we looked over the water and were surprised to Pelicans standing on the trusses. I could not believe my eyes, There seven of those birds standing there and sunning themselves. It was hard to believe, but it they were there, big as life. Those warm weather birds were all the way up north in Wisconsin.
Upon reaching our cottage, we unlocked the doors and unloaded the car. We opened the shades and looked out at the lake. Seeing the open water and the pine trees surrounding the lake gave you the sense that we really home. The house had been opened and cleaned. The boat was in the water and ready for use.
We stood on the deck, and were surprised to see a Bald Eagle drop down out of the sky and grab a small Northern out of the lake and head over across the lake to it’s nest and feed the two small eaglets that were there. It was nice to see that their nest had been successful this year.
We were busy watching the eagle when we heard the distress of a loon down on the lake. I peered down to the lake and noticed that there a female loon on the lake with a baby that was only a couple days old. That small family would give us hours of enjoyment, as she cared for him and tried to teach that younster all the skills that it would need to survive in the wild.
Once, everything was unpacked and put in its place, we then made sure all our fishing tackle was in place and ready for tomorrow, when we would venture on our boat and test our anglings skills. It has been a year since those skills had been put to use, here’s hoping that we are not too rusty to get the job done.
Later that day, Sue boiled some sugar water and loaded the Humming Bird feeder. When the sugar water cooled down, she hung up the feeder and waited for the show to begin. It was less than hour for it to be notched and the fun to begin. The female found it first, and she drank her fill before she shot away and was gone. In less than twenty minutes she was back. This kept going on until we noticed that the rapid action that we were watching was more than one bird.The male, with his bright red head, was easy to spot. In fact, I noticed that were actually two different birds making a strong effort themselves noticed by the females that visiting the feeder. It was a joy watching those two males trying to impress the females by flying up and down and back and forth hoping to impress those females. They were so busy trying to impress the females, they did not notice how close I had gotten to the feeder. I had my camera and managed to get some very close up pictures of those small and delicate birds.
Later that day, we ventured out on the lake in our daily attempt to catch a keeper bass, that we could clean and have for dinner. The trip was successful and I managed to catch a couple of undersized bass and one keeper that was nineteen inches long and three and a half pounds.
Sue did her usual expert job in filleting that fish and that bass a perfect meal for the two of us.
After dinner, when the dishes were done, we got in our car and searched the back roads looking for deer out feeding in the fields. We were very lucky that night and we spotted thirty deer out feeding in the open fields. They were bucks,does and fawns all feeding on the fresh cut
crops.. According to what we saw in the fields, later this fall, the deer hunters would have a very successful season.
On Friday it was fish fry night, and we decided to go out to eat and taste the local fish fries.We went to our favorite restaurant and was shocked by all the people that were there. We had to wait thirty minutes before we were seated and believe me it was worth the wait. The fish was fresh and lightly breaded and then deep fried. It was served with coleslaw, your choice of potatoes and fresh bread. I see why all the locals rave about that place. The food was delicious, and well worth the price, and the help was very friendly.
All in all, this trip to the cottage was very successful, with the weather, fishing success, wildlife encountered, and success in relaxing. It was just what we needed to make the summer a success.
Story by Synapse House Member, Tom W.
OPEN HOUSE @ Synapse House Thursday, August 24th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sample our muffins and learn more about our new programs!
Just a quick reminder that Synapse House is CLOSED on Monday July 3rd AND Tuesday July 4th. Synapse House will reopen on Wednesday July 5th.
Caregivers, we have a caregiver support group on Saturday July 8th from 10:30am to 12:30am. Please remember your survivor does NOT have to be a member to attend the group!
Hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend!
My family went to the Northwoods in Wisconsin. It took 7 hours to get there. 10 family members were in 2 nice houses. We had one boat for 10 family members. We took the boat to many restaurants. We had the boat all week for rides, Skiing/Tuning, Fishing and Night Trips. There was a Game room, TV, Movies, a Pool Table and Ping Pong. We went biking, paddle boarding. My sister’s birthday was celebrated. We ate awesome homemade Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. My favorite part of the trip to the Northwoods in Wisconsin was spending the week my family and my son. Who Doesn’t Like Wisconsin?
By Synapse House Member, Mike
As the summer approaches, I start dreaming about going up to the cottage. We call our caretaker and tell that we are coming soon and make sure our cottage is all set for us to arrive.
Sue checks her crib sheet to see what we need. She then goes to the various stores and makes and makes sure we have everything that we might need.
Once, everything is acquired, we are set to venture upward to the northern part of Wisconsin. The car is loaded with all things including clothes and fishing tackle. Early the morning, we set out for our cottage. It is a long drive for just one driver. I have it easy because Sue is very capable, when she is doing the driving. My main job, is to keep an eye on her and see that she is paying attention to the road, and is not distracted from the road. We try to see as much unusual wildlife as we can. It is surprising how much wildlife you can see, if you really look for it. While driving, we notice a large black cloud up ahead. As we get closer to that cloud, surprise that cloud is no cloud at all, but birds. There were several thousand of them, flying in close together flock It is impossible to guess how many there was. To estimate guess, there must have been over a hundred thousand birds in that flock. They flew up and down, riding the air currents as they traveled their way down south to the Gulf of Mexico. I was fixed on those birds until we too far away from them.
I then returned my watching to the landscape that was before us. We continued this way until my eyes veered to the left. There in the field, I could not believe my eyes. There in the field were two tom turkey’s battling it out, with about twenty hens watching the battle. We continued on, so I’m not sure who won the fight.
As we continued on, we drove close to Lake Michigan. We have driven that same route for years, and have never seen a large oil tanker out in this part of the lake. It was huge, riding the waves all the way down to south Chicago, where it would be unloaded.
We went to the Galena Territory and stayed in our home there recently. We enjoyed the country-like scenery and many delicious dinners. We saw deer, and I was on the lookout the black-bears, but unfortunately the bears didn’t show up. There is a chance an elephant will wander onto the property but unfortunately that didn’t occur this trip. They have huge tusks and a long trunk, and you need to be alert because they are known for charging people and impaling them on their huge tusks. Ouch!
I enjoyed having a few beers at the local restaurant, which accompanied a delicious steak and baked potato for dinner, as we gazed out the window at the lovely scenery. My wife had wine, her favorite, along with salmon and vegetables. Healthy! We indulged by having dessert, a frequent event. I had a piece of delicious apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy! This was paired with a piping hot cup of decaf coffee.
We walked country trails and went into town, a rustic little city that is famous for its lead-mining activity many years ago, In town, I really enjoyed going to several old-fashioned country stores which featured old-style clothing, which included cowboy-hats, blue jeans and leather vests. I imagined people a hundred years ago riding into town on horses and the dust flying up from their horse’s hoofs.
My favorite food on this trip was dessert -- a slice of apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream along with a cup of steaming hot, black coffee. I also enjoyed a glass of cool water. For my dinner, I had salmon, a scoop of rice and carrots. Healthy and yummy!
We go to Galena many times a year, and it’s a great place to relax and unwind plus spend time with family and friends.
By Synapse House Member, Chris Z.
Synapse House has officially launched its Flour to Empower Bakery and Employment Program to provide much needed job training opportunities to individuals affected by brain injury and stroke. We are the only social enterprise specific to individuals with acquired brain injury in the Chicago Metropolitan area.
The Employment Program of Synapse House provides a Work Readiness Program, a Culinary Internship and Supported Employment at our bakery. Individuals will be trained by our experienced Pastry Chef, Christine and work to obtain their Food Handlers Card.
The Flour to Empower Bakery has wonderfully delicious muffins and breads including a blueberry lemon muffin, apple cranberry muffin, cinnamon roll muffin, chocolate bread and a carrot berry bread. These items are available for purchase, as well as cool t-shirts, on the website at synapsehouse.org/online-shop.html. We hope that you will support our mission by purchasing one of our delicious baked goods or products!
You are invited to stop by our booth at the Elmhurst Farmer's Market on Wednesdays to shop and to meet those individuals who are working hard to recover from acquired brain injury as well as the dedicated staff.
We at the Clubhouse, made pizzas for the members. We worked as a group, and constructed a very tasteful meal for lunch that everyone enjoyed. It was a very rewarding to see the members take a real interest in working together and perform.
All the members of the Clubhouse would like to take this time to invite you and yours to our Harvest Moon Gala. It will be held on Sept. 21st, 2017. This year it will be at the Katherine Legge Memorial Lodge in Hinsdale, Il. A good and enjoyable time will be had by all the attendees. Your friends and coworkers will enjoy the fabulous spread that is placed before you. You will get a chance to converse with members, staff, and volunteers at our facility.