Friday, September 22, 2017

It's Fall!!!

Originals excited friday free gymnastics GIF
Well.....according to the calendar anyway!

And from WTForecast (surprising a G-rated forecast!)

Last weekend was my nephew's wedding in Chicago - it was a beautiful wedding!  My new niece is such a sweet girl & she fits right in with our family.
Laurie, (Randy photobombing), Terry, me
(stolen from FB)
I know there's a nice pic of Randy & I somewhere - it must be on his phone. 

We drove over Friday with enough time to get settled in the hotel before the rehearsal dinner.  Randy & I were in one car with Angel & her friend Brittany following (lot's o drama there, but I'm not getting into that mess- let's just say they're not friends anymore!)  They drove separate because Angel had a special dance class Monday night that she didn't want to miss and work Tuesday, where Randy & I had more time off. 

The wedding was Saturday, and by then we were all sick, of course.  I'm not sure if Brittany gave it to Angel, or Angel got it from the kids she works with at the store....but Randy started with the sore throat Friday & I had it Saturday.  Sinuses stopped up, chest congestion - all the fun stuff.   I'm sure the food was delicious at the wedding, but we couldn't taste it!  
The live band at the reception was excellent - they were called Recycle the Day.  They were a cover band & sounded really good with every song they did!  They even did some small choreography on their stage.  The dance floor was never empty. 

Sunday we played tourist.  By the time we were all up & around & fed, it was after noon.  We went downtown & up into the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) to the Skydeck.  Super awesome!   Basically you take an elevator 103 floors up & can go out ON the glass windows over the streets of Chicago. 
Then we got to experience a Chicago cab driver to take us to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, then another taking us to the train station afterward.  Those guys have some serious cahones!  Wow!  When the sign in the back says to Buckle Up for Safety - they aren't kidding!   We had 2 cars - Randy, Angel & me in one; Mom, sister Laurie, niece Lisa & her boyfriend AJ in the other. 

It was late when we got back to the hotel and we were all exhausted.  We all visited in Mom & Laurie's room for a bit with Linda & Dave (the parents of the groom) - then turned in. 

Monday morning, everyone was getting ready to go separate ways.  Angel had to head home.  Laurie, Mom Lisa & AJ were heading to the airport, so Randy & I met up with Linda & Dave to have breakfast with the bride & groom and see their new house before we took off, too.   

Linda & Dave went back home, while Randy & I headed north.  We decided to take the scenic route home, thru Wisconsin & the UP!   We stopped at a maritime museum in Sturgeon Bay, WI.  It was very cool.  We picked a good time to go, since maybe 2 other people were there, but we never ran into them.  We actually learned some neat stuff!

I have this bucket list of sorts, where I want to visit all 30+ Maple Grove cemeteries in Michigan, because that happens to be the name of my Halloween display.  So Randy humors me.  There are 5 in the UP and one just south of the Mackinac Bridge, so we hit all 6!  Yes, I take pictures of interesting headstones & blog about them over on my H'ween blog (Maple Grove Cemetery) but they'll be up in October during the Countdown to Halloween.  Shameless plug, but I digress!

One was near Bond Falls, that Linda & Dave recommended to us.  It was beautiful!  The lower part was even wheelchair-friendly.  But if you wanted to climb up to the top, there were cement stairs & a path to follow.  
I've heard people say they're better than Tahquamenon Falls - 
but they're both glorious in their own ways!
We passed the house of some people after my own heart - they had a bunch of skeletons out doing stuff in their yard, so Randy stopped so Chuck (my mascot & traveling buddy) could "visit".
Yes, I travel with a googly-eyed skeleton wearing a camo onsie! (another shameless plug - check out #skeletonroadtrip on Instagram!)

Monday night, we hit one cemetery, then stayed the night in Iron Mountain.  Tuesday, we went to the falls, then hit a total of 3 cemeteries and ate pasties in the place voted best in the U.P.

Tuesday night we stayed in St. Ignace.  If it had been "in season" the suite we had would have been 2 or 3 times more than what we paid!  We had a lovely balcony overlooking Lake Huron and Mackinac Island in the distance.  And we had our own hot tub, which felt really good after sitting in the car for so long! 

The U.P. is seriously a beautiful place.  The leaves were just starting to turn color, so in a couple weeks, it will be spectacular!

After breakfast Wednesday, it was back on the road.  We didn't stop at Castle Rock because it was too foggy to see anything!  But we did get some nice shots of the Mackinac Bridge from Bridge View Park. 
We got the last cemetery & stopped at Tim Horton's in Gaylord, since it's the furthest north Timmy's in the state and we needed our fix. 

We stopped and pick the dog up from Laurie's house on our way home - he'd been kennelled with her Barney & Linda's Baxter & Webster while we were in Chicago, so she just picked him up when she got Barney.  I've never seen Jack so eager to get in the car and leave her house!  Normally I have to put the leash on him & pull him away.  

It's always nice to get home after being away!  Especially when you're not feeling well.  

On the plus side, we're all on the mend, even tho we're at the stage where we're coughing up nasty stuff.  Physically, we feel better!  Woot!

So plans for this weekend?  Next Thursday is Miss Angela's birthday, which means Friday is GO day for setting up my Halloween display!  So I'll be out this weekend, getting things out of storage & cleaning them up, staging them on the patio so they'll be ready to go!  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Where has summer gone?

Ok, I'm not exactly thrilled with it still being dark when the alarm goes off in the morning, but by the time I get to work, the sunrises are spectacular.  I have a ton of Instagram pics of the tree at the business next door to work, because it's between me and said sunrise!
January 2017
Last Monday....


Ummmm.  Yeah. 

How's it going?

I felt obligated to write a real post, since there has been too many in a row of linkups.  Not that there's anything wrong with them, I just hadn't done any free-style posts for quite some time. 

We've gotten a couple home-improvement projects done recently and another is on the short-list to be done.  For some reason, Randy thought it bothered me that our garbage disposal hasn't worked in 10+ years.  I personally don't recall caring, but he saw some Moens on clearance at Home Depot last weekend that had high reviews, so we went back & got one.  And of course while we're fighting with the old one to remove it, he found a reset button on it.  So that one probably still worked after all!  But too late.  We finally got it out & the new one installed and got the electrical hooked back up today.  

We also had an unexpected project with the fridge.  He noticed it didn't seem as cold as it should be, and discovered the freezer was all frosted up. We took everything out of the freezer, unfroze it and cleaned it all up.  Then he went online & found someone's hack on how to keep the drain from plugging up with ice.  So the fridge is good & cold again & some science projects have been removed from the freezer!

The next project is replacing the ceiling fan in the kitchen.  Now ~that~ I may have made a comment or two about wishing it was replaced.  The old one has a broken blade (it just fell off one night!  Of course I was home alone and scared the crap out of me!).  We've had the new one for quite some time, we just need to DO it. 

So, the shorter days & cooler nights can only mean one thing....Halloween is near!  
You know that I'm all about this time of year (shameless plug for my H'ween blog Maple Grove Cemetery).   I don't do a big fancy haunted house or anything, but I do have a decent sized cemetery in my front yard & a bus-load of skeletons that I have do stuff within the cemetery.  It's more humorous / spooky than it is scary / spooky. 
New thing for this year - a swing! 
Quick & easy to take a piece of scrap board & drill holes in the corners & thread some rope thru. 
This is Chuck - he's the cemetery mascot who stays out year-round & travels with me & does random stuff.   You can't see it here, but he's got googly eyes! 
 Also new for this year - I managed to scored one of the skeleton horses from Home Depot back in April.  I haven't looked recently, but I think it's pretty hit or miss catching them in stock.   I was really happy to find out they also carry a saddle & bridle for it! 

I've been doing a bit of shopping, too.  Some of the bigger chains (Walmart/Target/CVS/Walgreens, etc) around here don't have anything out, it's still back-to-school time because most Michigan school don't start back up until after Labor Day, but I've seen a little bit at the local greenhouse (really!) and places like Kirklands & TJ Maxx., but not a whole lot yet.  

Today was the launch of Yankee Candle Halloween collection.  I didn't go to the mall to see things in person, but I ordered a couple Boney Bunch pieces online.   Since this always happens the weekend before my birthday, Randy lets me buy what I want, then he doesn't have to worry about getting me a gift!!
   They had a really cute Clue-type theme going this year, so I was tempted by a couple pieces (I copied their pics off their website), just because they reminded me of Miss Angela's last dance season's production of Clue (check it out on my YouTube channel over on the right sidebar - look under my uploads.) 
Death by Chocolate - got her.   
 Head Chef - got him.  He cracks me up!  
Squad Car - this was the first thing I put in my shopping bag!
I was really tempted by Boney Holmes.  
Maybe if YC puts out some coupons, I'll go back & get him. 
Same with "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody"
I do believe this is a pretty big piece, and they're a pain in the butt to store & display. 
So maybe, maybe not. 

Well, I'm going to sign off with Jack for National Puppy Day!  
Are you looking forward to fall?