Monday, July 26, 2010


Aaah. We had such a nice lazy weekend – no place we need to go and nothing we needed to do! It’s been a long time since that has happened!  But now it's back to the grind!

We took a family trip to Home Depot Saturday – I got on a kick lately to work on my Halloween stuff. I signed up on and have seen a bunch of good ideas. Tons of people with great imaginations who like to share their creations and encourage others. Anyway, I raided the plumbing department & got PVC pipes & fittings to make 2 skeletons & one upper body to hang over the fence. Still have some work to do – like attaching foam to the “spine” and covering it with vinyl for the torso & I already added pipe insulation to flesh out the arms & legs. Then I have to dress them. I have the stuff to make a dress for the girl – who will be holding her head in her arm. I got some purple, black and white netting to create a flowing skirt for her, but one that will also dry easily after a rain. The boy will have a pumpkin bucket for his head and probably be wearing jeans & a really ugly shirt. And Fence Dude? I don’t know yet. I’ll have to find something for his head, and he just needs a shirt. I sort of screwed up with getting happy with the PVC glue.  I meant to leave the caps on the necks free so I could slip the bucket or whatever over the neck and replace the cap to held the "head" on.  But I glued them, too.  Crap.  Oh well - as far as I can tell that has been my only ooops.  Definitely need some fake blood, too. Can’t have a headless body with no blood! And hands. Then I think I’m going to make another coffin that is sticking up out of the ground & I’d really like to make a fence to go around the coffins. Pallets would work great. And also need some strobe lights. I have no lights on my graveyard!

Dry fitted bodies
Duct tape!

OK, I’m obsessed. I know I’m rambling but Halloween is just so fun! I woke up at 7:30 Saturday morning & my mind was racing with ideas. So I just had to get up. Linda asked me to make her a coffin for their yard, too. Sure! She’s gonna help me with it. Fun!  Tangent -  I have to put in a plug for the ratcheting PVC cutter! Totally worth the $13 !!! I measured & marked the PVC and Angel cut it for me. If a 12 year old can cut with it, you know it’s easy! And cut cleanly, too.  So the peeps (zombies?) are taking shape nicely.

OK, back to Earth. Thursday Angel got to go on a field trip to see a Tiger’s game. They won! Yay! I bet she’s secretly glad that the Club didn’t allow her to switch field trip packages after all. Water parks & park beaches probably look all the same after going to a couple.

Last weekend I went up north to Linda’s place on the lake. I’ve only been up there once before, a couple years ago. At first she was just going to take Angel & I was excited because Randy was working at the Mid-Michigan MS150. I was going to get all sorts of stuff done around the house. Then Laurie said she was going up and that I should go, too. Crap. I ended up compromising and went up Saturday. Jack & I were on the road by noon. I have to say, it felt really weird to drive for 2 ½ hours by myself! Felt like I was escaping or something!
Me & Angel on the boat
Laurie & I ready to tube!
Lisa & Angel's tribute to their cousin Catie.
So I (we) got up there and went across the street and played Bocce Ball with Laurie, Scott & Annie (Annie & I rock! Undefeated all 3 games! Not bad for not even knowing what the game was!) Then we went tubing. Laurie didn’t like to ride with Lisa or Angel, since they made fun of her for laughing. So we rode together & laughed like idiots together. We were bouncing around and it was like I went in slow motion going over the side. I was aware of the water being warm all around me and I came up laughing. Dave (driving the boat) thought Laurie was crying, not even caring that I was gone – hmmmpf! But she was laughing just as hard as me. Mainly because she could hear me across the water! It was a good time. Then we went & had some burgers, and went back out on the pontoon for a sunset cruise around the lake. Beautiful! Then we went back and sat around the fire for a while. Everyone laughed at me when I came walking up with my jug of pineapple juice under my arm, pulling my little cooler on wheels. I was keeping my Malibu on ice! Anyway, with the exception of my cup that got kicked over & the one I made for Laurie – I polished off that bottle myself. I was pretty HAPPY! I also learned that my knees don’t like to bend that far, so it was tough to squat behind the trailer to pee. At least I didn’t fall over or get any mosquito bites on my butt. Once I finished my bottle, I realized I was cold so I went to bed. Lisa & Angel had gone to bed earlier & took the dogs with them. Jack really did not like Scott at all. Don’t know what it was about him, but Jack would just stare & growl at him. He had no problems with Jeff so it wasn’t the “stranger” issue. Anyway, Jack apparently didn’t like his blanket on the floor of the trailer because he was up on Laurie’s bed! So once I found a plug for my phone charger, I called him over & he slept with me. He’s never got to sleep on a people bed before. He also takes up a lot more room than a cat! I woke up once to see what time it was and he was lying in the crook of my legs. He popped his head up to look at me and his jowls were all squished up in what we call “bed face”. I couldn’t help but giggle at him. It rained early Sunday morning and it was kind of chilly. I was perfectly happy wearing jeans & my hoodie! Dave took us all out to breakfast and when we went back, Linda wanted to go out on the boat. I don’t think I ever reluctantly put my bathing suit on before, but I did this time! So we went tubing again, then Linda wanted to go to the beach. The shallow water was colder than out in the middle of the lake! So we didn’t stay there long, plus it was sprinkling. We went back & packed up the cars & just got in then when it started to downpour – perfect timing! Linda rode home with me because Dave left while we were out on the boat. They usually leave early to miss traffic – don’t blame them!

I signed us (the Love fam) up for Adopt-A-Platoon & just got my contact info the beginning part of last week. I sent the first package of munchies out Wednesday. Now that I know how to do the customs forms, it’ll be easier. I had to ask the post office lady how to do it. Makes me feel good to know that a little something I’m doing will make 25 people happy and make their life just a bit brighter. This transportation company is in Afghanistan and they currently have 2 injured peeps from IEDs. Scary! Reading stuff like that in the news doesn’t mean much, but knowing that MY platoon has encountered them is totally different. More real. Yeah, they probably don’t even know about me/us yet and I already consider them mine. I really only need to send one package a month, but I’ll probably send 2 – one full of goodies & the other full of stuff to do and other whatnot.

LisaLulu did pretty good in her horse show 2 weeks ago. She didn’t place, but it’s tough for a beginner to compete against kids who have worked with a trainer since they were little. The first class was bad – she was nervous & Captain acted up so they went to the middle and the ringmaster led her out. She rode both English & Western. I think she was more confident in Western, although Captain didn’t use his low gear required for it. He didn’t lope, he straight up galloped around the arena! But he looked good! I didn’t get many pics because I was using Lisa’s camera for her!

Angel asked Laurie if she could have her birthday party at her house this year. She wants to have a “Hobo Weekend” type party with sleeping in the barn, etc. Alrighty then! This will be fun to work out the details to! Mainly HOW to get kids there! I wouldn’t expect the parents to drive them up there, so we’d have to shuttle them. Guess she won’t be having a HUGE party like she wants!!

So anyway, that's all the excitement here - other than the pallet & miscellaneous pallet lid I brought home from work today - the begiinings of my graveyard fence.  I'm taking my hammer to work tomorrow to break down some other wood frames and bring them home, too.  This is one of the few times I miss having the Hoopdie!

Oh yeah - Our septic field apparently has failed - so we get to have our back yard dug up! 

Ominous blue flags.  We now also have yellow & orange flags, too!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Tomorrow is mine & Randy’s 4th anniversary! I stopped by Della’s florist today & ordered some flowers and balloons to be sent to him at work – Heehee! Can’t wait for him to get them.

So let me see. The Friday after Angel’s recital was Lisa’s recital. She went to a new studio this year, so I was looking forward to seeing it. I’m not sure how many nights their recital covered, but if you took out all the competition dancers, it would have only lasted maybe 30 minutes. They had 3 different comp groups & they literally hogged the stage. Don’t get me wrong – they were really good – but that’s not what I wanted to see!

I hate to say it, but I think Mom is getting a bit forgetful. She asked how many of us were going to the recital so she could get tickets. I knew it was Field Day weekend, so Randy would NOT be there. So I told her 2 - for me & Angel. She still got him a ticket! Now I didn’t hear this conversation, so I’m not taking sides, but she asked Linda & she told her that because we’d gone to Ohio the weekend before, she’d have to go up north – thus not being at the recital. Mom swore up & down that Linda told her that both she & Catie would be there. Laurie told me a couple days later that Mom was still upset about the whole situation & had been crying during the recital. Not the rock & hard place I want to be between! I only know what I told her. So next year, to be safe…I’m going to write the number of tickets on her calendar & hope she looks at it before tickets go on sale. Whew.

Saturday & Sunday were Field Day. Randy was at the Nat’l Weather Service Office, so we went out to visit – conveniently a short time before they launched the weather balloon that evening. Angel got to help the meteorologist who launched it. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, so we could see it for a long time. We stayed there until around 11pm before heading home. We were invited to go back out Sunday, but I opted not to. Besides, they shut down operations about 1 ½ hours early due to storms!

A row of Ham cars
Angel holding the box with weather equipment.
NWS dude with the balloon.

This past weekend was BUSY!! 3 day weekends are supposed to be relaxing, but it wasn’t! Linda came & got Angel Thursday night to go up north. So Friday night, Randy and I went out to dinner & to see Grown Ups at the theater (hysterical!!) Saturday we did the siren test, and then went out to White Lake for my cousin Todd’s surprise 50th birthday party. Then, being a nice aunt & uncle, we went to cousin Jennifer’s house on the lake for a while so Lisa Lulu could hang out with her cousins that she goes to school with. It was nice, even if all these cousins are much older than I am. Had a nice chat with Kevin, who was a Lieutenant at my bootcamp graduation & is now up for Captain. He’s been in 30+ years !! Crazy! But anyway, Lisa got to go tubing & stuff and then, since we were only about 3 miles from the NWS, I asked her if she wanted to go see a weather balloon launch! So she was really easy to get away from there. First we went to Timmy’s for some iced coffee, & then she got to help launch the balloon. I think she was more interested in it than Pnut was. She asked questions & everything. Guess she learned how cool it is to have geeky relatives!

Sunday we went to our church service at Stony Creek MetroPark. It was nice! Pastor Kevin blew the amplifier, so he had to do the sermon “unplugged”. And included one joke about how Jesus managed to speak to 5000 before amplification. But we sat out on lawn chairs under the trees next to the lake. Then had a nice picnic afterward. Tons of really good food. And I got baptized! I’d been thinking about it anyway, but what better day than Independence Day?? Most of the other 9 people brought bathing suits, but I just went in my clothes. Handed my phone & camera to Randy and that was it. Oh yeah, we just walked over to the beach & waded in! So we had a huge audience, even if most people probably didn’t realize what we were doing. It was a glorious day!

I'm behind the large glowing white woman.

Monday was the parade in Clawson. It just so happened that a couple days before, Gerald, the guy in charge of staging, just happened to call Randy at the last minute & as if he could round up some hams to be stationed along the parade route. He did it, tho! He rounded up 8 people (including me!) and set us up along the route & in staging. It was pretty neat. I got to argue with an old man who wanted me to move the barricade so he could get out onto 14 Mile and go get some medication for his wife. Sorry Charlie! The parade route is closed, go around. I should have stayed there and gave him the evil eye, because I think he moved it anyway. Oh well. I got to go up to an entry & tell them to hurry up, too. They had too big of a gap in front of them, so they needed to get the lead out! So after the parade we all went over to Gerald’s Mom’s house for another picnic. There we gladly went home & vegged the rest of the day. I was really surprised to see Linda & Angel there. They apparently left “up north” at like 0530 to get there. Wow!

My first event badge!
Angel wants to run away and join the circus because of these people.

I don’t know what the deal is this year, but someone let off maybe 5 or 6 M-80s over the course of the day a few weeks ago and now Jack is scared of loud noises! That day he followed me around and cowered all day. I felt sorry for him at first, and then it got annoying. He didn’t like fireworks or the fire trucks with their sirens going! Neat.

So Tuesday I’m back at work (bored because I’d gotten all my work done Friday) and I get a call around 3:45 from Terina, the owner of Pnut’s dance studio saying due to a “scheduling conflict”, her summer classes got changed to Tuesday nights. She asked me if I’d gotten her email about it – but the email was mostly about all the fitness classes she’s offering now and mentioned that the 5-10 year old age group classes had been changed. So I deleted it because I didn't think it applied to us.  Well, Pnut was still tired from being up north & was crabby, and not enthusiastic about dancing right away. When we got to the studio (late because I didn’t know when her first class started now), the only 2 girls in the class were maybe 7 or 8. Angel was not a happy camper. She did NOT want to dance with the little kids. Even tho Desiree told her that there were 2 or 3 others her age who would be there next week, she refused to go in. So I sat out in the lobby with her (she was upset and I was mad, but now I understand why she was offended) to make sure she went into jazz afterward. She calmed down & was OK for the next class, so I left her. I know she wasn’t the only one who was ticked about the change. Another girl’s mom came in and saw Angel was a bigger girl, too and asked me what was up with the change. IDK! Anyway, when I went to pick her up, she told me that Terina wanted her to go in Wednesday for that ballet class. And it was exactly what I suspected. All of the “better” dancers were there. Terina should not have put age groups as the classes. She should have put beginner, intermediate, advanced, etc. I think these girls would have been a lot less offended to be put in the “intermediate” class with a wider range of ages, than to know you’re going in the 5-10 year old group. Grr. But I think she’s over her snit now. I’m still not happy about Terina blatantly keeping all her ‘good” dancers together and treating the rest like chopped liver. Oh yeah, and then Terina wanted her to take ballet again before comp team try outs in August, but since I’d already paid for 3 classes, she didn’t charge me for ballet.  That news didn't add any joy to the girl's demeanor!  I'm sure next week she'll be more prepared and ready to dance.  I know if I'd spent several days staying up really late & being all hot & sunburnt, I sure wouldn't want to dance, especially in 4 classes!

But anyway, we have survived. I think Pnut and I are going to watch Lisa Lulu ride in her first horse show Saturday, but other than that, it’ll be a quiet (hopefully!!) weekend. Next week Randy will be at the Mid-Michigan MS150 bike race. No other real big plans for the summer. Hoping to go to the UP before school starts up again!

But I have incentive to get my butt back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon! It’s called a trip to Mexico in February! Woohoo! And the 2.6 pound loss I had today ~faint~ helped a lot! We don’t have any solid dates as of yet, but we’re most likely going to Riviera Maya, and all inclusive resort real close to Cancun. I’m pretty excited. I now have a vacation playlist on my iPod = Margaritaville, 10 Rounds with Jose Cuervo, 2 Pina Coladas, Redneck Yacht Club, etc.