Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Houston Chronicles, Part 1 ... 5/25 - 5/27

Let's see - vacation only happened a month ago, so why not post about it now??

Some backstory - I joined the Navy after high school.  I did the bootcamp thing, then spent an unsuccessful 3-4 months at a school that totally blew my mind (electronics are not for me!)  At my 3rd academic review board,  I asked to drop the school and they sent me to my first ship.

I had only been on the USS Canopus (AS-34) a couple days when people started saying things like "didn't I just see you a minute ago in uniform / civilian clothes (whatever the opposite I happened to have on)?"  It didn't take long to figure out that there was someone on board who people were mistaking me for.

Not long after that, I met Laura.  And we never did / still don't think we look alike!
Approximately 1993 / 1994.  We were babies!!

Somehow, we met Gin and the 3 of us became partners-in-crime!
Anyhoooo, after we decommissioned the Canopus in November 1994, we all went our separate ways and lost touch for over 20 years. I went to an aircraft carrier on the West Coast, Laura went to one on the East Coast, and Gin got out and went home to Texas.

Then thru the joys of Facebook, we found each other again!

We got to chatting and we decided to meet up.  The problem is.... I'm from the Detroit area, Laura's in Cincinnati & Gin is in Houston.  That meant...Road Trip!!!

It was decided that I'd drive to Laura's house and we'd carpool down to Gin's.  We drove straight thru, only stopping for potty-breaks.  Throw in a couple small dogs and 2 cats (Laura thought Gin was going to adopt her cats, but that idea fell thru, so we had to bring them back.  Glad they were good travelers! My cats wouldn't have been that good.) took us 19 hours.

Of course I slept thru my alarm on the day I was going to leave, so instead of getting thru Detroit before rush hour....I was right smack in the middle of it.  So it took close to 5 hours to get to Laura's.

We still don't look alike!
Laura's babies are her pugs.  They're the cutest things!!  Punkin on the left in blind, so walking them together like this usually ended up in a pug-o-war!
Otis chillin' in the car.  
It was so awesome to be back together again!  
I didn't even know Laura took this until I saw it on FB!

So one of the first things we did was go catch the matinee of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  
Chuck the skeleton (#skeletonroadtrip on Instagram!) went along, of course!
We all bought the Houston City Passes, and we definitely got our $$ worth out of those!  
First stop was the Houston Aquarium.  
I didn't expect to see a white tiger in an aquarium!!
We got to pet stingrays, too.  This one was looking for food. 
 I wish we could have seen more of the octopus.
They had a little train ride that went thru a tunnel inside a shark tank.  There it stopped and they told us about the different sharks & the conservation work the aquarium does on their behalf.  It was awesome.   
The guy taking this picture of us had a good laugh!

Since the Hard Rock Cafe was right around the corner from the Aquarium, we decided to walk over.  We were still all wearing capris & tennis shoes from the movie, so we were way overdressed for being outside.  I just wanted a shotglass for my collection, but once we got there we decided we were hot & thirsty & ready for some dinner, so we stayed.   Plus, I guess if you dance in the lobby and booty-bump the very fabulous host, you're kind of expected to stay for a while!  
 From the top of the ferris wheel...
 I forgot ZZ Top was from Texas and it's one of the hubby's favorite bands so I had to get a pic of their star.  
And our table was under a bunch of ZZ Top memorabilia.  
We didn't go for a carriage ride, but this one that passed us was really cool!  

We were staying at Gin's apartment, so we went back after dinner and chatted & looked at pictures & reminisced like crazy! 

Stay tuned for parts 2-7!

Friday, June 23, 2017

What Up, Weekend??? 6/23/17

What's up weekend?
It's been a while since I joined up with the lovely ladies of the Peaceful Posse for a Happy Friday post! 

1.  I'm happy to get back into the slow groove of blogging.  I've been spending a lot of evenings just sitting out on the patio with the hubby, enjoying doing nothing (my house will vouch for that - ugh!) But sorry peeps - quality time with my favorite guy is tops on my priority list. 

2.  Rain!  My poor lawn is so dry!  On the plus side, it's coming up on like 3 weeks since I've mowed and it's really not too terrible, as long as you don't look at the weird tall weeds in the one back corner. 

3.  Dance season 2017 is done!   I'm kind of excited about 2018.  The trip to Daytona Beach is somewhat iffy now, but there will be a trip somewhere "tropical"!  Louisiana's gulf coast was mentioned.....

4.  Little Daisy kitty is finally starting to accept Rusty as her new brother.  She seems more likely to growl at him when she jumps up on the bed at night and sees him already laying near me.  But other times she'll rub up against him and head-butt his chest, trying to get him to groom her. 

5. Halloween stuff is starting to show up in stores!!!!!  I have a notebook filled with plans for my Maple Grove Cemetery.  I already scored my full-sized horse skeleton so the only things I'll need to buy are details for it & the skeleton rider.  And some PVC piping to make a reinforcing stand for the horse. 

6.  I've lost at least a pound for each of the 3 weeks' weigh-ins since I've came back off vacation!  The -2.4 lbs right after I came back was a very pleasant surprise.  Seeing as how I ate such  healthy food as fried eggs & pork chops or venison sausage for breakfast; a total of 6 donuts, 1/4 cold pizza & 1/2 bag of popcorn on the drive from Hot Springs to Cincinnati. Oh and dinner one night was a funnel cake with a scoop of  apple pie filling, drizzled with white chocolate & smothered in whipped cream. 

Wow.  I could probably think of more, but I'm at work and yet again, they want me to WORK!  Sheesh.  

I've started my "Houston Chronicles" posts since there's no way I'd be able to cover a week vacation in just one post!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dancers Only Standing Ovation 2017

So the 2016 / 2017 dance season has come to an end.  I was really expecting to be done after the recital, but nope!  We went last night and did the summer class sign ups.  These kids are all excited at one of the classes is going to be held a couple doors down at a CrossFit place, so they can work on strength & conditioning.   
The next season should be an adventure!

All of the reactions I've heard from other people at the studio has been positive - except for one crab-ass.  But her opinion don't mean beans to me.  It's not like Miss Angela demanded to do another year.  The owner of the studio asked her to stay.  She thought about it a couple weeks, then said yes.  Even tho her age may affect some of the competitions they had tentatively planned, Terina is fully aware of exactly how old she is and I'm sure she'll figure it all out. 

I'm happy with how the pictures turned out from the photographer (Northern Lights Photography, as usual).  I was pleased with the fact that she went out of her way to change the lighting set up so we could use the doors from Clue.  
 Miss Peacock - Clue (production)
 Three (jazz solo)
 Don Quixote (pointe) 
 Brume de la Mer (ballet)
 Final Song (small group jazz)
Final Song group
 Girl Power (hiphop line)
 PARTY (rec hiphop)
 They Don't Really Care About Us (small group tap)
Where Feet May Fail (small group lyrical)
Note the 3 in back with strategically placed bodies & hands?
That's to hide tattoos & belly button piercings!

I didn't get as many pics during dress rehearsal as I planned.  I forgot during a couple numbers!  I was just sitting back, enjoying the show.  
 The yearly goofy ballet pics with Ashley. 
 Ooo, art!

 Every ballerina needs to yell WOOOOO! at the end of a pirouette.  She was excited that she did a triple en pointe and let us all know!
 They're so professional.
2 weeks before the recital, their teacher decided they'd do a pointe dance, too.  So they learned their choreography in 2 weeks!  The first time they went thru it, I was so glad I was recording since it fell apart mid-way thru and it ended up being quite hilarious.  But it ended up being pretty good, if short.   

Come to find out, the guys working at the auditorium (grrr, they pissed off a lot of people!) were messing with the speed of the songs & goofing off instead of listening to instructions about lights & making inappropriate remarks about the girls.  Terina was livid! 
 This recital was her 10th with DOS!  
Alayna also got her 10 year trophy.

I really hope her knees / ankles / hips will survive another year.  She came home after dress rehearsal saying her one knee hurt inside.  By Saturday morning, the bruises were showing.   Then during the recital, we saw her land on her knee hard during Clue (the first routine) and it showed on her face.  She did OK after that until her solo when she twisted it again and really hurt it. Again it showed on her face but she powered thru.  She only had 2 dances after that and luckily hiphop line doesn't require pretty facials and the other was finale.  She had her knee brace on for those - the rest she didn't because most of her dances she's not wearing tights.  

Afterward, we went to the studio for pizza (and margaritas!)  Those goofy kids still find the energy to go do each other's dances!   The one that cracked me up was them doing the hiphop line where they switched parts - the little girls did the big girls' parts and vice versa.  It was funny! 

I think the next season will be bittersweet, knowing that for sure it'll be the last. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Breaking radio silence....

I am still around!  
I came back off vacation last Sunday and it's just been hectic trying to get caught up at work and at home, (and fighting with my phone to upload pics from the trip) that I haven't had a real chance to sit down and open up the blog.  I am so afraid to even open Bloglovin' to see how many posts I've missed reading there!  

Anyhoo.  Pics are uploaded & organized so I'll have a Cliffnotes post on vacation coming soon.  Overall - we had a lot of fun and even tho it's been since the end of 1994 that we've seen each other....
It was like so much time hadn't passed!  

What's everyone been up to?


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Playing catch up....

I am so having a hard time concentrating on writing this post!  I've been working on it for hours!  I swear there has been 200 distractions, from birthday texts (for the cat!!) to phone calls, from Facebook to Itunes, from a cat wanting attention to the dog not knowing what he wants......and that's just been this evening!

Wow - I haven't posted since my Reflections post?  Sheesh.  

Mother's Day was nice - We did our usual Sunday brunch, then I suggested to Randy, since he didn't get me anything that we go to a greenhouse to get a new tree for the spot where we had to old cherry tree taken out.  And I could get a hanging basket for my mom. 
So we ended up with another cherry tree, since the maples I was looking at would get too big.  This one is a sweet cherry, so maybe we'll actually get to eat some!
And I couldn't pass up a candy corn plant!  
If I was in a warmer zone, this could go outside, but it won't survive Michigan winters, so it'll be an indoor plant. 
Telly's has some cool stuff in their fairy garden section, so I got this bobble-head skeleton for my ceme-terrarium. 
My fur-babies. 
Daisy is 2 today!  
(Well, yesterday since I started this post before midnight!)

Saturday before Mother's Day was the last dance competition of the season - whew!  It was a busy day, since it was just the one day and final awards were scheduled for 3:45pm! 

Angel's first dance was the production that was the last number of the morning (all the beginner & intermediate levels) session which meant the afternoon was crazy busy with costume & hair changes! 
These first 2 were snagged off the Dance Force Facebook page.
 Clue - Production
Love that they got the ending pose, complete with the "victim" in mid fall! 
They got a High Gold / 1st place.
 Where Feet May Fail - Lyrical
High Gold
their teacher threatened to kick their butts because they did so much better in jazz with mostly the same girls!
Three - Angel's solo
High Gold
This was the first time she's ever danced barefoot!  The stage was really slippery and we saw quite a few kids slip & fall.  It was funny that after the last comp, Angel told me her teacher wanted to know if I was OK with her going without tights & wearing different shoes for this one, since the fishnets & jazz shoes were not "working".  Then same thing with going completely without once we got here.  Hell, if Gabby thinks it better to go without, then go without!!  
Girl Power - hiphop line
Platinum / Division Highest Point for HipHop / 1st Place
and a special "Power" award from the judges because it stood out to them.

We shared a dressing room with a team from Detroit and they were really impressed with our hiphop.  They had some good small group routines, but they were too "girly".  Our hiphop tends to be gritty & tough.  
They Don't Really Care About Us - tap
High Gold / 3rd Place
Final Song - jazz
Platinum / Division High Point for Jazz / 1st Place

....and I learned that colleges send out scouts to dance competitions like they do for football & baseball games!  Angel, Sarah & Lauren all got invitations to try out for the University of Detroit Mercy dance team!  
I'm still trying to figure this out.... they must have been watched for a while.  Angel texted me a picture of the business card from the stage before awards and the only dance any of them had done was Clue that they had just finished.  And there are 30 girls on stage during that!  And the fact that all 3 of them are in the position to be able to try out - meaning Angel & Sarah have already graduated high school and Lauren is a senior....
But anyhooo, she respectfully declined, since UDM didn't have any programs she was interested in, and she didn't want to have to drive all the way into downtown Detroit for classes anyway.  
But still - how awesome is that??

We also had official studio pics done.  I'm going to be out of town late next week, and I bet that's when they'll arrive, dammit.  They got some pretty good ones, like usual.  I'm glad I looked closer at the packages and realized I was able to get 2 poses in an 8x10 instead of just one because I'm going to love the picture in her Miss Peacock costume!  

Some randomness....
Angel drove us to that competition, which felt really weird, but my car was in the shop.  We picked it up that evening and I noticed for the first time this paw print on my center console!  Clearly a reminder from when we brought Rusty home, since his jellybeans (toes) had been sweaty at the vet's office.  And also a glaring sign that I need to clean my car! 
Jack got his first "puppy cone" at the ice cream place. He enjoyed it very much!
I found more nutcrackers at the Salvation Army.  And they're Halloween ones, so even better!  That was a successful trip to the S.A. because I was looking for shorts to pack for my trip.  I never find clothes there, but this time I found a pair of shorts, a skort & a pair of capris right away and they all fit perfectly!  

Speaking of my trip - I leave Thursday!  We still need to work out details (like exactly when we're coming home) but I'll be driving to Cincinnati to pick up Laura and then on the road to Houston (with her pugs and apparently 2 cats, too that Gin is adopting from her).  5 hours to Cinci & then 16 to Houston. 

Gonna be an adventure - can't wait!