Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy Tuesday (plus weigh ins #2 & 3)

This'll be a weigh-in update post combined with everything else, since I didn't post last week and I'm not going to my meeting tonight.  It was a struggle at the gym last night. Even tho I'm missing some female parts, I still get cramps (fun time!!) and I had to talk myself into going.  Then talk myself into do a full 2 miles on the treadmill.  Then talk myself into doing some upper-body machines.  Meh.  But I did it.  Tonight my plan is to do some menu-planning & grocery shopping so I'll go on the WW website & read this week's info.  I could go to another night's meeting, but this happened......
I have no idea who made it, but it was on the kitchen table at work - you know, the place to leave food you don't want in your own house?  Normally I can convince myself to avoid the table offerings, telling myself that people have coughed / sneezed / licked on stuff.  But I tried a little piece of this candy cane peppermint bark stuff.  OMG.  This was the stuff of angels!  I've probably had 10 pieces of the past 2 days. Incredible. 
I blame PMS.  And no self-control. 

No shame!

Anyhoo.
I was down .6 lb last week - so yay!  I only made it to the gym 2 out of my planned 3 days last week because Saturday I was helping Randy work on the furnace (at 25 degrees - that's an important thing to have working correctly!) and Saturday night we finally made it to Rochester to see the Christmas lights.  This weekend is the last weekend of the lights, so I was happy to have gone.
Imagine every business along this street.....
Brrr.
Then Sunday?  I actually slept in until 11 am!  It's been YEARS since I've slept in that late! I can't remember the last time I slept in past 9 or so..... The dog woke me up to go outside at 8, which is also late for him, I took him outside, fed him and crawled back into bed.   Then we met the family at 2:30 for a late lunch, then we went to an Escape Room!

Have you ever been to one of these?  They are so fun!  We had to sign a non-disclosure form before going in, so I can't tell you specific details, but I can be generic.  Ours was a murder mystery room, so we had to find our way out of the room and if we were really good, figure out who the murderer was.  However, they have about a 5% success rate of inexperienced teams getting out of the room.   Yeah, we failed but apparently not as bad as some teams!

We had 7 on our team - me, Randy, Angel & her new guy friend Logun, sister Laurie, sister Linda & BIL Dave.  They "locked" us into this tiny room (we could get out if we needed to) and told us the scenario.  There were all sorts of clues & puzzles to be solved & locks to be opened.  There were cameras in the room so the host could see and hear what we were doing.  They posted hints on a monitor in the room for us and also gave us clues if we asked.  We could get 2 clues during the hour we were in there.  It was crowded in there until we found a second room.  This was especially creepy - they'd taken a picture of our group in the first small room when everyone except me was facing away from the camera - so they printed it out, circled me and wrote a name on it, then planted it in the second room before we got in there!  Laurie found it and freaked out!  If we'd gotten that far - it was the clue of who the murderer was (me, apparently).

It was lots of fun and we will do that again!  Not that room since at the end, the host told / showed us what we missed.  But they have a lot of different themed rooms (MichiganEscapeGames.com) that would all be pretty neat.  

 I highly recommend trying it.  These places are all over the place, but I've never noticed any.  This location we went to was in a dinky little strip mall between an insurance place and an attorney or something.  We almost passed it.

So.  Happenings at the Love Shaque.  Nada much.

Miss Angela had a clash with one of the managers at work, and her asking the owner to leave early was interpreted as quitting.  So I've been on her butt to get some applications in other places.  She did a variety of things there, so she's got plenty of restaurant experience.  Hostessing, expo'ing (getting orders together for carry-outs), serving, and even made deliveries.

Randy had a meeting the first day back after vacation and was told they wanted him on call 24/7 for these 2 specific customers during their inventories during January.  So weekend before last, most of his time was spent on the phone dealing with this.  Wish he got overtime for all this BS!  They even balk at giving him comp days off now, since they would rather have him available.  Guess they forget he has a life outside that company and a family who would like to see him!

My work is slow for the moment. Did I ever mention I'm in the billing department for a decent-sized trucking company?  Been there for almost 17 years! We're coming off the holiday slow-down so I'm pretty much caught up.  And before we left for Christmas, my boss called me into her office and told me she was worried about me, because I was falling behind.  I happily handed over my biggest account to her.  It's not that my work is hard - there's a lot of time-consuming paper shuffling involved.  I feel so much less stress and I am so thankful for the temp girl who gets to do the shuffling now!

Oh yeah - I'm still working on putting Christmas stuff away.  I clearly haven't been motivated in the slightest.  I just need to grab a tote from the garage, bring it in and since there's a list on the lid - just grab stuff!  And repeat.  And repeat.  Blargh.  I brought in 2 more totes after work that I'll do tonight.  That should probably just leave the nutcrackers. 
This isn't even close to being all of them!  
I have over 100, but not all came out to play this year. 

Angel told me she couldn't have any friends over until the nutcrackers were gone.  Sunshine, that is NOT incentive for me to put them away!!!  Anyway, it backfired because Logun is fascinated with them and wants to start his own collection. Neener!

Ooo, guess what should be coming up soon?  Sign-ups for the April A-Z Blogging Challenge!  I had a great idea for a 2017 theme pop into my head during last year's challenge but I didn't plan well and didn't get all the photos that I need.  So I came up with a Plan B that I'm not as happy with, but should be fine.  It'll be fun to do the posts.  I'll work on getting the photos for Plan A once Old Man Winter goes away and fingers crossed, use it for 2018.  I have the locations mapped out, I just need to physically GO to these places and I prefer to explore outdoors there's not a chance of my camera freezing to my fingers.

Sigh.
Speaking of nutcrackers, I probably should go get busy.
That stuff isn't going to jump into the totes by itself!
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Sunday, January 8, 2017

My 2016 post roundup

I know there are so many people out there saying 2016 was the most horrible year ever, blah blah blah, and they're so glad it's over. 

Yeah, there was the whole election thing.  No, it didn't go the way I wanted, but I'm not crying or throwing a hissy about it.  Roll wit it. Not everyone is going to be happy with who is elected.  And a whole lot of celebrities died.  Which of course is sad for their families & loved ones...but doesn't concern me in the slightest.   And clowns.  Yeah, moving on. 

I personally don't think it was too bad. My family and I all have each other, our health, a roof over our heads, plenty of food on the table, jobs, cars, a little extra $$ to play with.  
Life is pretty damn good! 

So lets go for a little stroll thru some 2016 posts.

January
We went to see Monster Jam

February 
 IceFest happened in Utica. 
I started documenting some annoying female issues.

March
Team DOS went to regionals.
Memory trip to "the Farm".
Theme reveal - my 5th year participating!
Top 30 Very Funny Animals Memes #Jokes:
 A random this & that post about me.

April

May
ghostbusters dana venkman marshmallow man staypuft
Mother's Day at the Detroit Zoo
Official 2016 Dance Pics

June
Team DOS went to Nationals in Charleston SC.

July
Randy & I celebrated our 10th anniversary!

I had surgery and more about it here....and am still happy about it!


August 
We went camping.

September 
OK, this happened 10/1 but I wrote about it before then.
Angela turned 19

October  
It had been a while, so I checked in &
 sent you over to my other blog for Halloween shenanigans

November 
My sisters and I went to Girls Night Out and were disappointed!
I got back on the WW Wagon.

December 
The annual WERK dance Intensive for Team DOS.
The family went on a Road Trip to Ohio.
And another road trip for our every-other-year visit to Arkansas.
(and a random picture of a mirrored horse in a storefront along Central Avenue in Hot Springs. 


Had another visit to the Buckstaff Bath House in Hot Springs.

And that pretty much rounds up 2016.  Wonder what 2017 holds in store for us?

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Merry Christmas from Arkansas!

OK, so it's technically the 12th day of Christmas, so this still counts, right?  

First we had our Christmas with Angel on Wednesday night.  We had to wait until she got out of dance, then opened presents and played a couple games.  Angel's dance studio is doing a Clue production routine this year, and we just happened to get the Clue board game as a family gift.....!
She has arrived!
Randy and I left on 12/22.  We had a slow start, because we dinked around and hadn't finished packing until that morning, then we went out to breakfast with Miss Angela and finally got on the road around 1pm.  I missed a lot of the 1st day's trip because I had a horrible sinus headache and slept a lot.  I'm used to drinking a LOT of water every day, but when we travel I don't because I don't want to make all the necessary stops.  And I pay the price, being all groggy and headachy, on top of the sinus pressure I was having.  I know better, but I still do it. 

She didn't go on this trip, since they were short handed at the restaurant where she works and while they could have let her go, they would have been really strapped then.  So we told her it would be OK if she stayed home.  My sister Laurie picked her up Christmas Eve and took her to the family gathering at sister Linda's house and then home with her for a couple days.  So it was nice that she didn't have to spend it alone.  I did that when I was 21 and in the Navy - my first ship had decommissioned in Georgia, and my next set of orders sent me to the USS Lincoln in NAS Alameda, CA, reporting for duty on January 4.  Spending a holiday thousands of miles away from anyone you know isn't fun.  

Woo, really went off track there for a minute!  

We went a different route than usual this time.  We made a side trip into Indianapolis for dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise (A burger chain owned by Jimmy Buffet)!  They closed the one in Michigan that we liked so much and this is the closest one left.  We got to our hotel in Mt. Vernon, IL pretty late. 

By the way - the funner way to follow this journey is thru my series of blog posts about Chuck the Skeleton Elf over at my Maple Grove Cemetery Halloween blog.  Yes, I carried a 3 foot skeleton around Hot Springs with me and posed him for pictures!
OK, I thought I had a picture of just the Arkansas sign, because we'd stopped.  This road went thru the boonies and there was very little traffic (and went thru a place called Possum Grape, population 80 or so I read!)  It's funny that within minutes of passing this sign, Randy's accent turned itself back on.  

We got to Momma Love's house mid-afternoon on the 24th.  And then we proceeded to sit inside & do a whole lotta nothing for the next 2 days.  I got a decent amount of needlepoint done, but I was starting to go stir-crazy. 

The day after Christmas, we finally went out and didn't do a whole lot but at least we got some fresh air & drizzly rain. We went thru a couple stores and browsed, but at least we were looking at something other than the same 4 walls!

The 4th day (12/27, I think) was sunny & 70 degrees!  So we went up "on the mountain".  First stop was the Hot Springs Mountain Tower.  Sure seems taller than 216 feet, but the view was stunning.  The 2nd floor is all enclosed and you can walk around and read about the history of the area.  The 3rd floor was open to the sky.  
Then we went down and over to West Mountain and stopped at all the overlooks to see the views. 
The Tower we'd just come from.
That night, we had dinner at a tiny little podunk place that is known for their catfish (and I doubt has ever had a health inspector visit) and then we went to Garvan Woodland Gardens to see the lights. 
So pretty!  I enjoyed myself, even tho Randy & his mom ditched me because Momma was cold so they went back to the nature center while I got more pictures of Chuck the Skeleton in a train :D
Momma went thru chemo in early 2015 and her hair is back to her shoulders and really wavy.  She's always worn it really long and pulled back into a pony tail that she pinned into a loop on the back of her head, before letting it hang.
Flowers in December??!
12/28 Momma had a doctor appointment at the exact same time that the Buckstaff opened!  She only lives about 10 minutes from Bathhouse Row.  I left the same time they did and stopped in the parking lot at Oaklawn Racetrack (home of the Arkansas Derby) and watched them exercising the horses on the track for a while.  I love to see when they have the horses running full out! 
As usual, I enjoyed myself muchly at the Buckstaff.  I wrote about that in an earlier post.  When I came out, I did some souvenir shopping and then went back to Momma's. 
Thursday, we went to the store and started doing some laundry and getting our stuff packed back up.  We got up early Friday morning and went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel, then parted ways.  It's always hard on Randy to leave his mom.  It helps when I'm with him so I can distract him.  And he loses his accent again once we cross the Missouri border.  Weird! 

We got to our hotel in Terre Haute, IN fairly early. Then were up & gone after breakfast.  
Home before dark on New Year's Eve! 
What a beautiful sight!

But what we got home to wasn't such a beautiful sight.  Angel called me when she got home from Laurie's after Christmas to tell us that "someone" knocked the Christmas tree over.  And damn if she just left it laying on the couch!  The little turd. 
But we have a suspect. 
Maddie. 
Let's just say that Randy had gotten his money's worth out of this tree, since I'm not sure how long he bad it before we moved in together, 14 years ago.  And due to the age, the stand may not have been the strongest, so when someone gray & furry climbed where she shouldn't......the thingys that hold the legs into the stand gave way. 

Sadly, we did lose a couple souvenir ornaments that won't be easy to replace.  The one from the National Weather Service Office in Whitefish Point (where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down) and the glass sea turtle filled with sand & shells from Myrtle Beach were both casualties. There were some others lost and 2 that were repairable.  

This was the first time any of my cats have knocked over a tree.  Ever.  Even as a kid. 

Anyhooo.
It's always so nice to be home after a long trip.  We really didn't think we'd manage to stay up for the countdown, but we did.  Randy turned on the TV around 11:40 and was flipping back & forth between the festivities in New York and the ones in Toronto (I loved hearing the bells tolling from I think it was City Hall).
New Year's Day here was glorious.  Sunny & mid-40s. We took the opportunity to bring the Christmas decorations in from the front yard while we could just be out in hoodies.  Glad we did, since its been as cold as crap lately!

How hilarious is this? 
 Back when Randy graduated, it was a thing for the valedictorian & salutatorian of each high school in Arkansas to go meet the governor - who at the time was Bill Clinton!  Momma Love also graduated a year after Mr. Clinton from Hot Springs High School.  

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