Saturday, December 12, 2009


WooHoo! How cool is this?

We got our pics taken with a couple of the Red Wings! Brett Lebda (#22) & Justin Abdelkader (#8). They were doing the Red Kettle bell ringer thing for the Salvation Army outside Hockeytown Authentics by my work last Tuesday. It was a competition of sorts for the most donations, since there were guys at 3 other locations during the same time frame.

Angel was funny. I can honestly say that she has been bribed by one of the Wings! She didn’t want anything to do with posing with them – at first. I handed her my camera and told her to take one of me with them. They thought that was funny! So after she took it, I asked if she wanted to go up by them and she shook her head. Lebda asked her if she wanted to ring his bell (bribery!!) and then all was good. She was perfectly happy to go pose with them then. They were really nice guys. I kick myself over & over for not buying the white helmet ornament in the store and getting them to autograph it. Guess I’ll have to do that next year.

Randy and I went on our hot date last night while Angel was at her Lock In at the dance studio. We went out to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse, got a few things from WalMart, came home & watched the Red Wings game – then I fell asleep while Randy messed around with his new Netbook Scribbler thingy. We are such party animals. But it’s nice to have some alone time.

The kid has been fighting a sore throat all week. I sent her to school Tuesday then had to go get her around 1. Same with Wednesday. I had them check her throat at her meet & greet Tuesday night, and the doctor said it wasn’t strep and just take OTC meds for it. She’s got a yucky sounding cough right now. Thursday I kept her home from school, but I needed to go to work for a couple hours, so she spent the morning alone. Then I get home and she wanted to go to school for 5th & 6th hours! Sheesh! She had a presentation to do in 6th hour, was the reasoning behind that. I called the school and they were OK with it, so I dropped her off and finished off my Christmas shopping (I think!!!).

She was mad at me Wednesday. She wanted to skip dance and go to her friend Rebecca’s birthday at Dave & Buster’s. I wasn’t happy about it, but I was going to let her go. Then she called me to pick her up. Since she was too sick to stay at school, she obviously was too sick to go party! I just dropped her off at home and went back to work for a couple hours – she called me at work and told me that she was miraculously cured (this said in her gravelly voice) and she felt 100 times better since she took medicine. I expressed my amazement, but told her she still wasn’t going to the party. I can only imagine what she told Rebecca about me when she called her. And in case she was going to “forget” to call, I told her that I still had Rebecca’s Dad’s # on my caller ID and could call him so he wouldn’t make the unnecessary trip to our house. She didn’t like that idea, but I know she called.

Man is it cold! I’m so glad the wind stopped, tho. The west side of the state had blizzard warnings most of the week and got lake-affect snow dumped on them. They can keep it, too. We have enough to cover the grass somewhat, but the sun is shining. We didn’t lose any major limbs out of the maple trees, even when I was hoping we would. There are a couple big dead ones in the one tree just caught up in the other branches and I was sure they’d come down in one of those nasty 35+ mph gusts. Nothing.

Tonight we’re going to meet up with Mom & Laurie for dinner & then we’re going to look at the lights in Rochester. I hope I can get some pics to do it justice. Here’s a little YouTube clip someone made a couple years ago.

America's Largest Bebb Oak on Record, Rochester Hills

Monday, December 7, 2009


Holy crap, it's December.

Frost on top of my car.

The halftime show was awesome.  Definitely a cool experience.  I'm sure this will probably start being an annual thing, as long as Pnut goes to this studio.

Thanksgiving was fairly tame, as usual.  Besides Lisa & Angel leaving Captain’s stall door open and him dragging a bale of hay into his stall, not a lot of action happened. I think Laurie had one glass of wine and I polished off the bottle. No one else drank. Booo.

Saturday we took Lisa & Angel to their first “big” craft show. We’d never been to Ford II, so we didn’t know it was HUGE and packed with people ! Crazy. But I got a few little things like a really cool wood pedestal bowl that this guy made out of the reclaimed apple wood. Love it!

Randy got home safe & sound Monday. Heehee, I’d gotten Jack a collar with a necktie on it and left it on him so Randy would see it. He’s not crazy about the dog wearing clothes, so I see what I can get away with. I won’t do shirts, but he’s got several bandanas, a scrunchie thing that goes over his collar and now this. I asked and he said he was ignoring Jack’s new threads.

Last week was pretty uneventful. I did manage to get out of painting the girl’s bedroom until after the holidays!! Her cheer pics finally came in at school. I’d been waiting for them for weeks so I could put them in Christmas cards. So Monday night she said they’d come in, but she doesn’t go by the office to get them. Ok, so go out of your way to go by there! Tuesday they’d been moved to a classroom and she didn’t know where it was. As if she couldn’t ask someone. Finally, Wednesday (I was in a bad mood anyway) was the last straw. Yet again she had some lame excuse why she didn’t bring them home. I told her that if she couldn’t do a simple little task like that for me, than I can’t be bothered to do make the effort of painting her room. It can wait until I’m good & ready to do it. We were all ready to paint, too. All her stuff was boxed up and in the living room; the bed & dressers were in the middle of the room, etc. I told her to move it all back in, I wanted my living room back.

However, since we had the primer, I went ahead and primed the room Friday night. Mistake! I would have been better off getting that expensive paint & primer combo. The fumes off Kilz primer are HORRENDOUS! I did get most of the ceiling and upper halves of the wall covered, but not the corners. Good enough! I was starting to feel dizzy & nauseous & I asked Angel and she felt dizzy, too. So I hurried us both outside. As we went thru the kitchen I smelled different fumes in there, but I was confused enough that I couldn’t figure out what it was. We started to feel better so we went and turned on the TV in my room, since the fumes hadn’t wafted into there yet. After a while, they drifted in and I really got concerned. So I called Mom and asked if she wanted some company – a lot of company. There’s no way I could have left the cats here! She said we were all welcome, so we packed everyone up and had a sleepover with Grandma!

Jack settled down nicely for the night, once he figured out where his bed was. Angel put a blanket down by her but he couldn’t get to it. I had to step over sleeping bodies to grab it and he was fine. Skeeter & Maggie adjusted pretty well. Skeeter snuggled with Mom for a long time. Poor Chester wasn’t happy. He didn’t start wandering around until just a couple hours before we left. He hid the rest of the time.

Cross Dressing Chester

Randy was doing Skywarn Recognition Special Event at the NWS, so he didn’t get home until 8ish Saturday night. On his way home, he figured out what the other fumes were coming from. When the furnace was leaking before, he’d put a bowl behind it to catch the drips. He never moved the bowl. So apparently the water had evaporated and the plastic bowl was getting hot. Guess we’re lucky it didn’t catch on fire.

So yes, I wasted almost all of my Saturday, since we didn’t head home til past 8:30 PM. OK, it wasn’t wasted. I spent quality time with Mom and we went to a candlelight memorial service at the funeral home. It was very nice. They talked about how to cope thru the holidays and read a nice poem, etc. Then we lit candles and they went around the room and you were supposed to say who your candle was for. I was so classy, I can’t even begin to describe. My turn came along and I said my dad, James Owens and my father-in-law and then my voice cracked. I made this awful noise somewhere between a wheeze and a snort and it was loud. Like Dad always said to me – if it weren’t for low class, I wouldn’t have any class at all!

I think we’re about ready for the holidays. The Christmas cards will be going out tomorrow and then I’ll have to start wrapping. I need to get just a couple more things, but I already know what I want to get and where. So it’s just a matter of going to the store. I have the prime opportunity to get a lot done this Friday, because Angel will be at the dance studio for the annual Lock In (basically a sleepover for the kids at the studio). Or I could use that time to go on a date with my honey. Hmmmm. Forget wrapping!

Mom, Laurie & Lisa are spending Christmas Eve & Day at Frankenmuth, since Mom didn’t think she could do the usual Christmas thing. They expected us to go, too! Ah, no. Linda & Dave are more than welcome to go, but we’re not. We want to spend Christmas Eve at home with our tree & our presents and be able to get up and do our thing on Christmas morning. We learned last year that it sucks having to haul Christmas presents somewhere else. Then Mom said Angel could come spend the night with Lisa! Hello! No she’s staying at home, too. Sorry. I think we’re going to be going to Christmas Eve Service at our church (which by the way moved out of the gorgeous old building where we got married – sniff!). We haven’t gone to any services in way too long. We’ll go up the Frankenmuth C-mas day and spend that night. Still don’t know what we’re going to do with Jack. I don’t know if I could get him into the kennel at such short notice.

Alrighty! Think it’s about time for bed. Angel’s going to her meet & greet at the doctor’s office tomorrow, which could be a good thing, since she just told me tonight that she had a sore throat & I just heard her in there coughing.

OMG !  The first time ever my Christmas cactus has bloomed!! 
I've had it for years.  Right now there's only the one flower, but there are lots of buds!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

This week has been crazy! First of all – Pnut became a woman! Too bad she started probably Monday (said she didn’t know when she started!!!) and the little booger didn’t tell me and was trying to use TP instead of a pad. Jack found some of her undies in the laundry. Unpleasant surprise! Just found out tonight, so we had a little chat. She was really embarrassed! Helloo? It’s nature. Can’t fight it. I don’t know why she didn’t tell me. She’s gone thru a girly health class in school and I also got her a book all about “the care & keeping of me”. At least she had a clue about what was going on, I never knew. Mom never said boo to me about it, so it freaked me out when I started mine the first time. But all is good now. I won’t post it on Facebook like one of my friends did when his daughter started hers. Heehee, my blog is OK, tho!

Then Monday night, Tuesday night & tonight, she’s been downtown at Ford Field until past 9:00 each night for the halftime show. I figure there are at least 150 kids dancing to a “Tribute to 50 years of Motown” by 6 artists I’ve never heard of. They sounded good, tho, so I guess that’s what matters. The director wanted all the parents to stay in one section (behind the stage of course) until invited around to the front. So the security guy (he was hysterical!!) came by and told us to be patient, etc. they’d let us know when we could actually go see the performance. One of the moms asked him when that would be. He just looked at her and said when they tell you! He looked at me and the rest of our studio moms and said he thought that had been pretty clear. Yup, we thought so, too! Then we got to talking to him about the game tomorrow. They’re playing Green Bay, so he was saying Detroit (the city, not the team!) doesn’t stand a chance cuz if the Packers win, the Cheeseheads will burn stuff down. If the Lions win, both the Cheeseheads & the Lions fans will burn stuff. We just cracked up. But the show is really good.  I recorded it until my batteries died - I was mad!

At Ford Field

The whole Dancer's Only group

So tomorrow, I’ll take Pnut to the mall & throw her on a bus with the rest of the kids and go home to pack & work on clearing out her room some more. They’ll be leaving Ford Field right after halftime, so I’ll pick her up and we’ll head straight out to Laurie’s. Check it out – I made a chocolate pumpkin pie with an Oreo crust that is only 4 points per slice. A regular plain pumpkin pie is 9. Do I rock or what? And it’s SO good, too.  My cookies left much to be desired, but the pies are awesome.

Had to put the cutters on them to tell what they are!

So I’m working on clearing out her room a bit so we can paint. I took out 4 big bags of trash. And don’t get me started on what we’re donating. And I’m not done!! We finally decided on colors that we’re happy with. We’ll do the walls green and put a wide teal stripe thru the middle and put random pink polka dots around the room. But I draw the line with the ceiling. I’m going to prime the heck out of it and paint it cream. I may even use the leftover living room color. I also found some funky flower mirrors online, so I’ll order them for her, too.

Now.  Yes - the trim on the door is purple.

Our inspiration

So Randy is heading out to his Mom’s tomorrow. He didn’t say why he didn’t leave today, but his mom told him not to drive after dark. She usually goes to bed early anyway. So he’ll spend a few days with her, I’m sure she’ll have a honey-do list for him. She always does! He’s supposed to be home Monday. Of course the weather is going to turn exceptionally crappy tomorrow night. It’s been hovering around the 50s the past couple days.

But that’s OK. The furnace is working good and I got the spiral trees, Gingy and the plastic Santa out in the yard today. I saw this ad for a 4 foot tall gingerbread man, balanced on 3 gumdrops and I fell in love with him. Even better yet, he’s in the “Dad pose”. I got the last one! Woohoo! Yay me!


My doctor appt went fine, I just went to meet the doc and have a little chat with him. I like the place, so I called and set up an appt for Angel, too. May as well have us all at the same place! Her current doc is OK, but English is not his first language and she has a hard time understanding him. So I asked for a female doc for her. She wasn’t happy about going, but she’s OK with seeing a female. I’m glad I made that decision! This place is a lot more convenient to home and I like everyone I’ve dealt with so far.

We went to the second of our annual craft shows last weekend. Mom was a trooper with her hip. She had Ben Gay pads on it and Linda carried around a metal folding chair so whenever Mom needed a break, she had a chair handy. She’s apparently game to go to another one this Saturday! Alrighty then! I got the cutest metal gecko sculpture. I love it! I think it’s going to go in Angel’s room, up near the ceiling. And a funky turkey with real feathers on the tail. And I finally found a little something appropriate for Randy’s mom. A stained glass nativity. I think she’ll like it. I got a really cool wood ornament that was hand-carved & polished by a guy who looked a lot like Santa, too. I wasn’t going to take any chances passing him by!

Saturday night, Angel’s friend Taylor came over for the night again. Angel wanted to use the gift cards she got for her birthday, so I had to drag them to the mall. They did their shopping in places I would never go (American Eagle, Hollister, etc) then on the way out, Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee thought it would be a good idea to go UP the down escalator. Taylor is short & chubby, so she only made it about ¼ way up before falling twice. I told her to ride it down and use the stairs. Angel made it almost to the top before getting cocky and tripping – 3 times in a row! The last time she really looked panicked, so I told her to ride it down. When she came up the stairs, I saw her knees were dirty. One was covered in grease and the other had a hole in it. When we got to the car, I heard Taylor ask if that was blood on her pants. Sure enough – little Doofus had 3 perfect escalator tread sized gouges in her knee. Nice. She hasn’t mentioned it bothering her, so I guess it’s OK.

I got some serious Super Mom points, tho. Angel’s had the release date for the movie New Moon written on the calendar since she found out when it was. I told her there was no way I was taking her to see that on opening weekend. I am not insane! But I checked online and was able to get tickets for the first showing Sunday morning. That was the choice time to go! The theater was only half full and tickets were $5. Can’t beat that! I gave it one thumb up and one down. I’m just not impressed with Rob Pattinson or what’s her face that plays Bella. She bugs me since she’ll stare at the person’s chin that she’s talking to and it’s obvious since they’re wrapped in each other’s arms.

Guess I should wrap it up now, since it’s almost 1 am and I have to get Miss Sunshine up & in costume (which by the way is NOT my idea of Motown!) fairly early. Out!

I had her sleep on the couch becuz there are boxes on her bed.

Chester attacking Jack's rope.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


It’s the weekend !!

Today I went to Clawson’s craft show with Laurie & Linda. Mom pinched a nerve in her hip a week ago and is still having a hard time getting around, so she opted to stay home. It seemed weird going without her, but she seems to think she’ll be OK to go to the one at Eisenhower HS next weekend. Cool.

Those are our traditional shopping trips. I got one of those triangle games with the golf tees (like at Cracker Barrel) for Randy, catnip toys for the cats, a rope toy and some treats for Jack, a lighted glass block for under the C-mas tree (been wanting one for a couple years but they’ve been crazy expensive – got this one for $9!!), some little stained glass trees to string across the kitchen window, my annual family ornament from the same lady I’ve gotten one from since 2000, and my favorite purchase – a stuffed gingerbread man. He’s so stinkin’ cute! We had fun with him. L&L kept saying I was discriminating because I thought this one was cuter than the other ones (2 were wearing dresses and holding coffee mugs & the other’s face was all smashed together and had an ugly ribbon) and how I hurt the ugly one’s feelings, etc. We had a good laugh.

So, November 3, I went to go watch Angel cheer at one of the last games of the season. Eppler came from behind 0-22 at halftime to win it in the last 4 seconds of the game, 34-28. It was a very exciting 4th quarter! It’s cute that when one of the players gets hurt, all the players & the cheerleaders all go down on one knee until he leaves the field. But they don’t when the cheerleaders get hurt! One of the pyramids collapsed (not Angel’s thank God!), the flyer got a sprained ankle & her elbow collided with the back spot’s nose. So the two of them came over to the bleachers crying. The poor things!

November 10 was her last game of the season. Eppler won 6-0 (and ended the season in 2nd place – woohoo!!), but overall it wasn’t too exciting. Most of the game was played between the 30 yard lines. We finally got thru and made a touchdown. Then the other team almost answered it. One boy got hold of the ball and he took off running like a rocket! He was flying!! Somehow one of our guys came across the field and managed to tackle him.

Speaking of tackles….Angel’s going to get herself a reputation and boys are going to avoid her! OK, that might not be so bad. Anyway, as if casually sticking her foot out & tripping a boy in 5th grade wasn’t enough. A couple weeks ago, they combined classes for gym class. They were playing dodge ball and a 9th grade boy took Angel’s ball from her. She ran after this kid, jumped on his back and knocked him down!! But she got her ball back! I can imagine this kid going home and hiding for days because he got knocked down by a little girl! The latest escapade was just this week. They should not let some kids have hockey sticks. They weren’t even playing yet! This boy got a stick out of the rack and accidentally hit Angel in the side of the head with it (high-sticking!) and she managed to hit him back somehow with her stick (cross-checking!) I guess I’m proud of my baby girl! Look out!

Last weekend we all went out to Laurie’s to write out Thank You notes for Dad’s funeral. It was easier than I expected, since they were pre-printed by the funeral home and we just signed them “The Family of James Owens” and each of us got a page from the sign-in book and addressed the envelopes straight from that. Laurie had a moment while looking at a ribbon that had been in a flower basket. We just let her leave the table and she came back when she got herself together. I’ve been doing good. I stopped at the cemetery on the way to my WW meeting this week and a few tears came. They probably will for a while.


This past week, my boss’s Dad passed away, too. He got sick hard & fast, since he was fine on a family trip to Georgia at the beginning of October. He was on life support and all this last week. They had a meeting and decided to take him off of it. We heard rumors that his funeral is Tuesday, but I don’t think I can go. I liked & respected Mr. Hare and will miss him, but it’s just too soon. I hope Michelle & everyone understands. I’m sure she will.

Man, the weather was great last weekend! We were out in shorts & t-shirts cleaning up the front yard. We even took advantage – like many other peeps did – and put up the Christmas lights on the house. We only put a single strand of those old-school big bulbs across the gutter, but I sure don’t want to be out there watching Randy on a ladder when it gets cold! Randy used the leaf blower to clean out the gutters and I handed it to Angel and let her go to town on the front lawn. She did a pretty good job of getting most of the leaves into the ditch. We picked them up from there to put in the yard waste container. She hopped into it and stomped leaves down while I tossed more into it. We had a good time. I couldn’t resist the pile of crisp leaves, and melted into them. I was completely buried in them. Then I had to lay there while Angel ran inside to get Randy. So anyway, we don’t have to spiral lighted trees out yet, or the plastic Santa. They can wait until after Thanksgiving.

So I’m hoping to finally break my plateau this week. I’m down to my lowest weight – again. But I’m determined to fill out my food journal in its entirety every night and then give myself a gold star on the calendar. I know it’s juvenile, but it’s working for me! Before I’d fill it out fine at work, but not at home. Definitely not on the weekends, either. So now I’m making sure to fill it out AND to figure out my points, too. I’ve been scamming myself out of Activity Points! E-tools didn’t have shopping as an activity, but 2 hours of leisurely walking is worth 6 APs!! I’d not been looking at stuff like that!

So, I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. I’m going for a “meet n greet” at a new place, because I don’t like my old doctor. He never took appointments and the last time I was there – just to find out blood test results - he left me sitting in a room for over 2 hours because they FORGOT about me!!! So I’ll have a new place before I should happen to need one. Randy’s going to the same guy on Friday for his first physical since I’ve known him. Can’t wait to hear about this! He was honestly expecting sympathy because he’ll be getting a prostate exam. Hello! You get one little finger shoved where the sun don’t shine. I get cold metal post-hole diggers shoved up & spread wide in certain areas every year, plus get random parts of my body mauled by cold hands! Nope. No pity party at this house!

Randy will be leaving for Arkansas directly from there for his annual pilgrimage. My plan for while he’s gone is to get the girl’s room painted. We’re still arguing over colors. She wants bright lime green & deep turquoise. Sorry – you need to sleep in that room and you can’t if the walls are GLOWING!!! I’ve managed to talk her into a cream color for the ceiling. We got sample paint of a couple different colors to see how they look before we commit to obnoxiousness. I’m OK with green & turquoise, just not as vibrant as she wants. I even suggested blocks of color through the room, since 4 solid walls of lime green would be a bit much.

Oooh, and she’s going to be dancing at halftime at the Lions game on Thanksgiving Day! Something actually worth watching! There are 10 girls from her studio going. I think it’ll be a madhouse, since they have to go to Ford Field for practices and God only knows how many peeps will be performing. Anyway I’m sure the Lions will lose. But they have won 1 game this season – already better than last year! LOL – I bet the Redskins feel like total losers. They got beat by the Lions!

OK,I think it’s about time to turn in for the evening. Later!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Happy November!

It’s been a long past couple days. Majority of visitation wasn’t as horrible as I thought. It was tough getting Mom in there, of course. The door was at the back of the room and Dad was at the front. So there was just about always a person holding on each of her arms, so we made sure she was steady. But she calmed down somewhat after about 45 minutes, before it was opened to everyone else. I had a moment when I went to give Bo a hug, since he & Randy came in late (due to a quick shopping trip for Bo). I was going to tell him he cleaned up nice, but he was standing there with tears in his eyes and grabbed me in a bear hug and told me he didn’t think he could do this.

We kept pretty busy most of the day, greeting people and whatnot. Of course we occasionally goofed off – Dad wouldn’t expect any less of us! Jamie shoved Laurie in a closet and slammed the door, etc. Dave & Randy appointed themselves kitchen peeps, so they made sure pop was in the fridge & went and got subs for dinner, etc. It was funny that a lot of people that volunteered at the nature Center with Dad, or worked with Mom or Laurie & Linda’s coworkers came in and I’d look at them and try to figure out if I knew them or wondered if I was supposed to know them. I know a lot of the cousins don’t recognize (or ignored, I don’t know) me, since they’re all older than I am. My second grade teacher came to see us!  And so did the doctor that took care of Dad for the past 8 years.  That was really touching.  Mom really lost it when the Aunts Betty, Jenny & Connie came in, since they’re all widows now. They really seemed to comfort her. At the end of the night, when everyone had left, we asked Mom if she was ready to go and she just sighed and said “if I have to”. It was a lot easier that we all expected.

Friday was the service. I couldn’t tell you who all was there. Linda and Curt chose to sit with their families, Curt way in the back of the room and Linda right behind Mom, but Laurie and I were on each side of Mom, and Terry next to me and Bo (with Lisa on his lap) on the other side of Laurie. I actually felt a sense of peace while listening to Deacon Gene and was completely dry eyed. I guess it just didn’t seem real. Randy got up to say a few words and he introduced himself as the newest addition of the family, since he married me. He told the story about how he asked permission to marry me, and felt that he lost his second Dad because he was made to feel so welcome in the family. It was beautiful. Do you know when I finally lost it? I sat there and watched everyone file by Dad for the last time on the way out and a lot stopped to hug Mom & all the rest of us and all of a sudden Randy’s friend Barry popped up in front of me and asked how I was holding up. SPLOOSH! Here came the waterworks. Obviously OK, until he asked!

After everyone left was tough, too. Mom had asked that we had a last moment with Dad, just her & us kids. We had brought one of the roses from his yard and put in his lapel, then Laurie had brought a gold rose pin that we all touched and kissed and she slid it in his pocket (Dad loved his roses & they were still blooming). Terry pinned his paratrooper pin on Dad’s jacket because he said it was the hardest thing he ever earned in the Air Force. Man, it was hard to see my brothers cry. I could basically ignore Laurie & Linda, but the boys got me. Mom didn’t want to see them close the casket so Laurie & Lisa took her out to the car.  Bo & Terry helped to close it while Linda and I watched.

I feel so bad that we asked Uncle Ron to be a pall bearer, but I forgot to put him on the list for the procession! Bad, bad me. Uncle Ron is now the last Owens sibling of that generation. Randy, Jamie, Bo and my cousin Mel all followed the cemetery workers downstairs at the chapel where they took the actual casket out of the fancy outer one and watched them slide it into the van. I’m surprised Mom stayed at the graveside (well, halfway there anyway) as long as she did, but Randy and I stayed right there until the entire thing was sealed up and the marble slab with his name put on it. It was kind of neat, in a morbid way, to see how they put the casket into the crypt. Dad is within yelling distance of my Uncle Mel.

Ya know, I'm still doing OK.  Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet.  But I did a lot of praying for Dad & Mom while he was sick and for all of us, too.  So maybe that's helped me with acceptance and grieving. 

The day was rainy & cloudy all day, until they’d just slid the casket into the crypt and sealed the first part of the door. Then the sun peeped out for just a minute. Randy looked at me and said it was like a door in heaven opened to let him in.  It was the most beautiful moment.

Sigh. Have to go blow my nose – brb.

OK. Let me tell you that contacts & tears don’t mix! Or maybe it’s the tissues. Either way, my poor eyes lately have been thru the mill!! Oh yeah, at the hall, we all snuck out to Terry’s truck with cups in hand. He had stopped and got the fixings for martinis (or Martoonies as Dad liked to call them) since it was Dad’s favorite mixed drink. So we all had one and toasted him. Yuck! Obviously an acquired taste. But I choked it down. 

Mom told us that Randy's Mom had called her, too.  Barb is such a sweet lady, I'm happy to have her for a Mother-in-law.  She told Mom how sorry she was for her loss, etc.  She's another one who can relate to how Mom feels.  Randy's Dad passed away right after Christmas 2002.  I never even got to meet him.   

So Halloween was yesterday. We went & had our family portraits taken in the morning. Yet again the photog said we were the funnest people to work with. What can I say? The camera loves us! I took Angel over to Mom’s to take her & Lisa (& ghost dog Morgan) trick or treating. A lot of people really didn’t think we’d be out. Bo stayed over our house, so Angel spent the night with G’ma. The girls got TONS of candy, even Morgan got treats at a couple houses – which made her think she had to go to each door with them. Between her pulling & the weight of Angel’s loot (and later Lisa’s too) I thought my arms were going to break off.  On the way back to the house they generously carried their own candy, so I took off running with Morgan, leaping and yelling "I'm free, I'm free". LOL

Randy took Bo home today, Angel finished her homework from Thursday & Friday (they get extra credit in geography if they bring in the obituary of someone they know – how morbid!!), I’ve done a bunch of laundry and we made a quick Halloween clearance shopping trip also. Everything was 50% off at the Halloween Bazaar, so I got some cool stuff for next year. Randy had my front yard cemetery taken down by 9 am this morning! It’s a good thing I walked around yesterday with a notepad and wrote down ideas for what I’d like to add next year.

I hear a song today I had to turn off.  The Judd's Daddy's Hands.  Nope.  Switch station!  I was driving at the time and really needed to be able to see.

Pirate Lisa, Beetleguise Laurie, Evil Fairy Angel & ghost dog Morgan.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Wow, it's been crazy the past week. 

First of all, on 10/19 they moved Dad into hospice.  He was still in the same wing of the hosptial, just on a different floor.  He had a nice room all to himself with a lovely view of the first floor roof.  Their whole mission there was to keep him comfortable.  We stopped in to see him that first day and he was wide awake and even laughed at Angel telling about her birthday party.

I was at work this past Thursday and I suddenly had the idea that we needed to go get Bo and bring him down to see Dad.  I made sure I could ship Angel off to Laurie's for the weekend and made sure it was OK with Mom before I called Bo.  She was very appreciative that we thought of him.  Funny part is, Randy had the same idea.

We took a nice Saturday drive up there to get him.  Off & on sprinkles, but it was nice.  Bo was happy that I asked if he had any laundry that needed to be done.  He packed up a big garbage bag full for me to wash and Randy took him home Sunday night.

It's a good thing we did.  Angel and I stopped by Monday, the 26th and found Mom in tears.  The doc had told her that his blood pressure was dropping and he was shutting down.  We got the call Tuesday morning that Dad had passed on. 

This is what gets me.  I'm fine right now, even after typing those awful words.  Tuesday was hard.  I told Angel the news and she gave me a hug and patted my back, but was OK to go to school.  We called and let the school know, in case it hit her later on.  But she was fine, too.  We went up to the hospital, he was still in his room and they were supposed to shoo us out and do what they needed to do at 8:30.  They didn't come in until about 10:30. So we basically sat around in the dark room with Dad for a while, shed a lot of tears, etc.  He went easily, so I couldn't ask for any more than that.  In fact I prayed that God would make the inevitable painless.  He looked so peaceful, I kept expecting to hear a big snore out of him. Understandably, Mom was/is devastated.  We took her home and got her to nap for a couple hours while we got all the arrangements settled.  I'm glad that Laurie made all the phone calls to family.  I sure didn't want to do that.  She didn't have to make as many as I thought.  She only had to call select people and they'd pass on the info to their families, etc. 

Yesterday all we had to do was make a trip out to the cemetery - which is about 2 1/2 miles from my house - to meet with the counselor there and he filled out necessary paperwork, then took us to see the crypt and the chapel.  Ever since I was little, Dad said he didn't want anyone peeing on his grave, so he's being interred in a mausoleum.  The best way I could describe this is a file drawer.  They'll open it and slide Dad in feet first.  When it's Mom's turn, she'll go in head first in the same drawer.  But he's on the 4th level, so you always have to look up to him.   Mom had a hard time, she couldn't handle being in the counselor's office, so Laurie took her out and he talked to Linda, Terry & I.  But we basically made sure that everything will be going smoothly on Friday.  I'll have to go back on Tuesday to finalize everything, whatever that entails.

Visitation is this afternoon from 2-9.  I'll be fine until: a) I see Dad in the casket, b) I see Mom crying again, and c) someone comes up to me for a hug with tears in their eyes.   Randy stopped by the funeral home yesterday, he offered to pay for the funeral until Mom is able to take care of banking, etc.  He just thought that she wasn't in the frame of mind to deal with a bank.  He paid them and they told him that Dad was already dressed and basically ready, so he asked to see him.  Dad had such thin skin that his hands were all messed up so the funeral home had to put his hands down to his side, instead of crossing them on his stomach like usual.  But he said that he looked nice and natural, so that will help a lot.       

I have to have a gripe moment.  I love my sisters, but I really can't stand being around them for great lengths of time.  Their quirks & pettiness are enough to drive anyone insane.  Laurie is the worst.  She's a paranoid, distrustful bitch. No wonder she never got married.  Laurie apparently talked Mom & Dad into buying Lisa a new computer because Lisa screwed their old one up and of course Lisa probably told Laurie that Randy messed it up.  Randy did nothing to that computer without permission.  Most likely Lisa was trying to get online after the parental controls had her login locked.  He even installed a program that would record all of the sites she was going on - per their request.  Didn't help any.  Lisa is such a sneaky little brat and gets away with WAY too much.  She's not supposed to be on Facebook, but we saw her logging in.  I searched for her and didn't find her name, so she's obviously not looking to connect with friends, since they'd look for her real name.  She has the makings of a first class slut.  Mom & Dad made a trust with all of the final info and Laurie was practically trying to hide the pages from me when we were looking for funeral home info.  Don't worry honey.  Mom has told me more than once that I am executor to their estate.  I'm the only one they could trust to make sure their wished were followed out how they want.  I could easily see Laurie & Linda both trying to screw Bo out of his share, since the both have issues with him.  Laurie won't let him stay at her house, when her's is the most logical - she's got all sorts of room.  After all the hours of work he did around that place for her and she repays him this way.  She's so paranoid that he's going to "rob her blind".  OK, he was in jail for not paying child support, not robbery!  He's not automatically a criminal because he's been in jail!  That must be what she does at night, since she's not getting laid, lay in bed and think of horrible things.  Sheesh. Get a dildo.  I really am not sure what Linda's beef is.  She won't even talk to him and said there was no way in hell he was staying at her house.  I think she has a bug up her butt about the fact that he's staying at the farm and not paying for anything.  First of all - why does she care?  It's not her property.  Since being in jail and being up there, there's no work close by!  At least the house is occupied instead of standing empty, waiting for someone to break in!  Last night, Bo had called with what was going on with him. We thought he was going to get a ride down with Marshall, who's a close friend of Mom & Dad's and their neighbor.  Come to find out, Marshall isn't coming down until later this afternoon.  Laurie told him he was just going to have to wait until then.  I heard her say that and I said No.  We will go get him and make sure he's there with us for Dad.  Then Lisa wandered in, she must have heard he was on the phone and asked when her dad was coming down.  Linda (Ms Insensitive Bitch) snapped at Lisa and said her dad was being laid to rest, there was a ceremony for that.  It took a minute for that to sink in before I realized exactly what she said.  I was shocked!  Bo is still her Dad and I'm sure she still loves him, even if Mom & Dad adopted her!   Lisa started to cry and I hope Linda felt like an ass!  She might not act like a kid, but she is still only 14!  I grabbed Lisa  and hugged her and told her not to worry.  We will make sure Bo is there for the entire visitation.  Terry pulled her onto his lap and held her for a while, too.     I really hope that I am never such a saint that I feel I have the right to judge people. 

Whew, I feel better after getting that off my chest!

So right now, Angel is still sleeping, I'll wake her little butt up soon.  Randy left at about 6:30 this morning to get Bo.  I just checked the tracker and they're at about Birch Run, so another 45 minutes to an hour and they'll be here.  I think Randy may have to take him to the Salvation Army so he can get a suit, I noticed Bo is getting chubby!  He admitted it himself anyway - LOL.

Here's my parting shot.  I yelled at Chester a few times early this morning for causing a ruckus and I thought he was attacking one of the other cats, but I didn't hear the normal yelling, only growling.  That's not normal, so I flipped on the bathroom light to see what was up and Chester was the bathroom with a mouse hanging out of his mouth!  He usually catches one each fall and proudly leaves it on the floor right outside the bathroom door, so we have to see it.  Of course we make a big deal out of him and give him lots of praise.  He's good because we've never seen any evidence of mice in the house!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We survived the girl's party!  There were 3 girls confirmed, but an extra 2 showed up.  Their acceptance somehow got lost in communication.  Either they didn't tell Angel, or she forgot to tell me (which is why I wanted parents to call me!!!)  Anyway, they had a good time.  The only issue I saw was that Miss Angela gets into a snit way too easy and acts snotty.  Apparently this happens if she doesn't get her way.  She still haven't figured out that tone of voice is important.  Apologizing works better when it sounds like you mean it.

Anyway, we ended up with (L to R) Gracie, Brittney, Sydney, Angel, Tyler and Alyssa.  They were all in their cute little costumes and just hung out until we loaded them up and took them to Cici's Pizza for dinner.  Cici's is great - it cost us less than $40 for 6 kids & 2 adults, and it's all you can eat.  The kids love going there.  Randy and I basically stayed out of the way and they entertained themselves.  We heard a lot of cheering & dancing, etc.  They popped in every once in a while to ask me to take a picture, make a recording, or to get permission to do certain dares.  It was loud, but the girls were all polite and respectful to us.  Alyssa & Sydney went home at 11, and the other 3 spent the night.  At 2:15 am Randy yelled at them to go to sleep - they were in bed but still chatting & doing stuff.  Then someone's phone went off at 7:30 am and they were all up again.  Sheesh!

But they had fun. It really made me feel good that I heard a couple comments both last night and this morning about how nice & neat the house was (they obviously didn't see my bedroom, but I'm still taking babysteps!)  Thank you FlyLady!  I used to rush around at the last minute getting the house presentable, getting all flustered & sweaty.  Not this time!  We went out to dinner & went shopping Friday night and I was too tired & full to do much when we got home, so I worked in the kitchen for a while Saturday morning before going to visit Dad at the hospital.  Then we came home, I finished up the kitchen & last minute dusting and took a shower.  Then we were sitting in the living room, calmly watching TV when the first kids arrived. 

So anyway, I'm pretty proud of my decorations.  The coffin looks great, just needs to be painted.  I think I'll wait until it's in the 60s next week to do that.

The house & cemetery.

This seemed to be a good place for the coffin.

Ded Fred & his balloon.

Floor decal - it took a while before Jack & the cats would walk over it.

The coffee table.

The batty lamp shade.

We have a few new family members.

The man-eating plant & babies settled in their homes.

The kitchen table.  I love the eyes on the table cloth.

Kitty Litter Cake - yummy!

So that was the insane weekend.  Tomorrow after I pick Angel up from practice we're going over to Mom & Dad's house to help Laurie cut the grass & clean up the flower beds before winter.  Supposed to be pretty nice, but we'll have to hurry to get it done before it gets dark!  Between us & the girls, we should (I hope!) make quick work of it.  Their yard isn't that big!

So that's about all for now.  For my parting pic - this is the pond behind Troy Beaumont Hospital as seen from the top of the parking garage.  I feel it is the perfect example of fall in Michigan.  I have it set as my wallpaper, too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Whew! Where to begin? Tonight we had a meeting with the hospice peeps at the hospital where Dad is. He’s obviously not doing well. No decision was actually made yet, but I think it’s a good possibility.

He’s been in the hospital for a week or so this time. He was falling a lot and Mom was getting concerned that he had pneumonia again. So after his last fall when he hit his head pretty hard, she took him back in and he did have it, along with bronchitis again. The poor guy’s been thru the mill! He hates being in the hospital, and I don’t blame him. The nurses are afraid to even get him out of bed, in case he falls.

Angel also FINALLY brought her grades up enough where she was able to cheer at the football game tonight! Woohoo! So I was able to catch the first half before having to leave for the meeting. The Eppler Chieftains beat the Shelby Wildcats, 6-0! Eppler was apparently the Detroit Lions of the school district, because when they won the first game, it was the first time they’d won in 4 years!! Now they’ve won 2 !!

She's the back spot (far left on bottom of stack)

Saturday, Angel and I went over to Mom & Dad’s house to help Mom get caught up on laundry & misc. other things. Luckily she was there, but she had a couple bad moments. What could I say? I just put my arms around her and held her. She said I didn’t need to do anything, because she’ll have plenty of time to get it done soon enough. That sounded pretty ominous to me. So she had just come home to take a shower & change, then went back to the hospital. I did about 4 loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, wiped down counters, took out the trash, had Angel run the vac. Just little things so Mom didn’t have to worry about it.

Sigh. I had a moment with laundry-room envy. That was tough to overcome.

On a more cheerful note – after we finished there, we stopped at Lowe’s and got the supplies we needed to make our Halloween coffin! The shopping trip was an adventure, and the cashier was entertained that we were making it. Sunday was construction day! OK, we let Randy help, since his anal-ness was useful with the circular saw. But I measured & clamped on the fence, he just ran the saw for the big cuts. We’re not done with it yet. We still have to add the trim, paint & attach the hinges & handle to the lid. I’m hoping to have it done before Saturday, but it’s not exactly high on my list of priorities.

She got to hold the wood while we cut it.

My boss (a MSU fan) says she can be buried in that shirt!

She fits in the coffin perfectly!

We also got the cemetery put up! I was cutting down plants in the front yard, so I had Angel out there driving stakes into the ground (yes – I let her use a hammer and yes – she did hurt herself several times!) It looks rather cute. I thought I was going to go back without her knowing and move some around, but I decided not to. Old cemeteries aren’t perfectly spaced out in rows, so why should ours be?

My man-eating plant

Man-eating plant babies

This Saturday is Angel’s Halloween birthday party with her friends. She took the invites in last week and this week, after sending reminder notes to school with her – we’ve finally heard from 2. I can’t decide if its ignorance or just rudeness that no one has called. That is my newest pet-peeve: the non-RSVP. That’s OK. Fewer are easier to deal with. I’d rather deal with 2 or 3 girls than the original 12 she invited. We can do more. I’m thinking of taking them down to the park after it gets dark so we can go for a spooky walk. Maybe Holland Ponds because it’s more in the woods……yeah!

Fewer girls means less food needed, too. I already got the stuff to make kitty litter cake, so that’s a gimme. BBQ lil smokies in the crock pot (BBQ baby fingers!) and screw it; maybe we’ll just order pizza. The ideas keep a-rollin’ !

Wow, so that’s about all the excitement here. The Wings lost tonight – booooo! Work seemed to be picking up for a while, but it’s evened out now so I still have a lot of time to waste during the day. I got 5% of my pay back- only 10% more to go to get back to where I was in June ‘08 !! Randy actually got a raise at his work – the first one in 3 years. But he never had any cuts like I did. And he still got a yearly bonus. Nada for me! I got a turkey before the holidays last year – that was my bonus. We were supposed to take it to Arkansas with us for his Mom to fix for Christmas, but we forgot it. Ooops. Guess I better fix it soon before I get another this year!


Random cuteness.......think I'll start ending my posts ths way!

Jack - supervising coffin building activities

Chester - the King of the Cokes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Fall has arrived! We are going to be kicking the furnace on soon! It’s going down to 45 tonight and 36 tomorrow night – BRRRR!

Well, today Angel missed cheering at her first football game. The athletic director sent home a note yesterday saying she was already failing geography with a 54% ! That takes some talent, since she’s only been in school 3 weeks. So no cheer this week for her. She can practice with the squad, but she sat out today. And the Chieftains won, too! The first time in 4 years I heard! Guess they’re the Detroit Lions of the school district.

Yesterday was her birthday. We got her the entire hardcover Twilight series of books, plus the nice UofM sweatshirt she’d picked out at the mall. Guess we’re shooting on having her party on the 17th, so it cam be a Halloween party. I’m looking forward to it, planning it anyway. I love Halloween!

Sunday we went to the Westview Orchard for our annual family trip. Mom & Dad didn’t go, so it was the 3 of us, Laurie, Lisa, Jamie, Catie & Austin. We had a good time. That orchard has funner stuff to do. They have a petting farm, a giant slide, wooden farm equipment, giant straw pile, horse-drawn wagon rides, tractor pulled wagon rides, a 6 acre corn maze and jumping pillows. That was a riot! Can’t even describe how fun they were. Altho I must have twisted my knee pretty bad, since it’s still killing me. Totally worth it! I guess they have a theme every year, so this year was MSU. 

Lisa & Angel on the jumping pillow.

Me on the jumping pillow.

Angel, Lisa & me with chicks.

This is a map of the corn maze. Covered 6 acres !

Friday night, Angel had her friend Taylor spend the night again. We took them to go see “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. That was really cute! Randy and I are so mean! They took off walking ahead of us to the car afterward. So Randy and I ducked over to the next row where the car was and they didn’t see us. We stayed down behind other cars and peeked at them thru windows. A couple were getting into their SUV in the row where the girls were and they could see us, hiding, so they must have sat there and watched us a few minutes. Until the girls went over a row in the wrong direction. We were cracking up. Then these other people pulled out and slowed down to tell us we were mean. We just cracked up harder – I said “I know- but it’s SO fun!” and they laughed and drove away. We finally took off running to the car and got in. Randy started honking the horn until the girls figured out it was us. They tried to play it off like they knew where we were. Yeah, sure.

What really caught me off guard was...apparently they had gone online before I got home from work and Angel decided she wants to attend MSU. They have a good vet school and she wants to be a veterinarian. Plus it’s one of the cheapest universities in the state! And she can get the first 2 years out of the way by going to Macomb Community College to their vet program. I hope she holds on to that thought.

So the dance situation changed again. She’s taking 4 classes right now! Terina from the studio was going to change around tap & technique, but someone else was driving in from BFE for the technique class, so she couldn’t change them. Angel said she was willing to try dancing lyrical, which thrilled Terina. The catch is…it has to be taken in conjunction with ballet. Angel wasn’t too excited about ballet, but is trying it. Terina said if she didn’t like it, she could get back into tap after cheer was over for the season. And until then, she’s only charging me for 3 classes – woohoo! I sort of like this better, because she’s got 2 classes per night, instead of all of them back to back.

Anyway, Randy’s over there watching something about the best classes of submarines and it sounds pretty interesting, so I must go watch, too! Later!

Note - Friday is the first Red Wings game of the season - WOOHOO!!