Friday, May 17, 2019

Timmy T'ursday.....errr Friday!

Alrighty - it's been a while since I've had a real post, so grab a cup!
(reminder - Thursday is mine & Spouse's usual day of going to Tim Horton's on the way into work, so Timmy T'ursday)
adventure time coffee GIF by hoppip
So what have I been up to?   My last post was April 7 so I have lot to catch up on!
FYI, I'm so glad the A to Z Challenge is over!  I got kind of burned out because I was pretty much writing a post each night, instead of planning ahead. 

I went to a Motor City Haunt Club meeting on 4/13 and we made these signs - pretty cool! 
We basically just put the decals on the yellow plastic, but it's all mine!  It's big, too!  Like 2'x2'.
One of my coworkers took a video of a coyote running around the parking lot at work as she pulled in!  
Me & my sweetie at Easter.  He doesn't do the Snapchat thing so it's fun to play with filters with him.
My niece brought her mama-less foster kittens with her at Easter!
There were 5 altogether and just started figuring out how to eat on their own & use the litter box - which meant they were stinky & messy, but SO DAMN CUTE!
Herding cats is a thing!  I couldn't get all 5 on Chuck at one time!

I'm sure the neighbors thought I was nuts!
Yes - we still hunt for eggs.  And have a good time doing it!
The Michigan Vietnam Veteran's Travelling Wall came to visit my VFW post.   This was so cool.  This belongs to a nearby Vietnam Veterans post and it was the first time I'd seen it.  There are 2654 names (including one woman's) on it.  These guys have excellent reference material, too.  They have huge binders with a page for each name with a picture; where they were from; the high school they attended; branch of service; how, where & when they died; parents & siblings names and a picture their headstone / what cemetery its in.  
Michigan's Medal of Valor Recipients
Fallen Comrade Table
The 8 women who are on the Vietnam Wall in DC.  The lady in the lower right is on Michigan's too.

Speaking of the VFW, we had a member pass away in 1994 who willed a large chunk of $$ to the post, so they created a memorial scholarship in his name.  I volunteered last summer to take it over, since the former chairperson was sick and stepping down from all this posts (he passed away in December).  I took packets of applications around to the 6 area high schools and didn't have much else to do until the deadline, other than answer the occasional email and collect applications as they came in.  We randomly drew 2 applications at the last meeting and I notified the winners.  The one kid is in community college, going to university in the fall.  He's happy to just have his $1000 check mailed to him.  But the other kid asked to have it presented (this is an option they had) at *both* of his school's awards nights.  He goes to regular high school and the smart kid math / science / computer program thru the school district.   UGH - I don't like getting in front of people!  But he's really excited and grateful, so I'm making up some cool award certificates for both winners and have a rough draft done of a short speech to give at the presentation.  Wish me luck!
 Then the Search & Rescue team had a display at the Lapeer Community Spring Expo on April 28th - there were a lot of vendors & displays & fun free stuff for kids to do.  Fire trucks & ambulances & llamas & a bounce house & *us* of course!  We had our gear trailer with a nice display set up, several of the canines and the big draw were the horses.  Laurie & I gave pony rides for 4 of the longest hours of our lives.  Kisses got taller with every kid. But the smiles were so worthwhile!  Only one little girl cried and it was because she didn't want to get off!  She was probably between 2 & 3 years old and Kisses started to act up a little because she was tired & they were deflating the bouncehouse right next to us.  The little girl's mom freaked out and grabbed her but had to peel her little fingers off the saddle. 
Lessons learned for the next event..... have a mounting block.  Some of those kids were heavy!  Or even better yet - your kid wants to ride?  No problem!  YOU toss them in the saddle!  It's been almost 3 weeks now and my left wrist is still jacked up.  I'm trying to figure out how, tho.  It must have been from the awkward angle when I lifted the smaller kids under their armpits and swung them up.
 Oh - I got about about 12000 steps in during that time, too.
 We have cameras at the out-of-state terminals at work that are displayed on the wall (the bossman likes to be able to keep an eye on his trucks).  One day last week, we were watching a nice thunder storm in Laredo - the red circle is a huge spread of cloud-to-cloud lightning.   It was awesome!
 On May 5, for old time's sake, I went to watch Spawn's old dance studio at their last competition of the season.  Of course the routine I really wanted to see was the 2nd of the day on Sunday - like 0804 early.  But I was there with my cowbell!
Ya know, it was really a lot less stressful not having a kid there!  I didn't have to worry about costumes or anything and I sure didn't have to be there all weekend!  This one started at like 4:30 Friday afternoon and ran until after 10 all 3 nights.  I went for a couple hours.
Last weekend was a Visual Tracking course for the search & rescue team, taught by a guy who is considered best in the world. I'll make another post about that so I don't take over this one.  It was awesome and I learned a LOT.  And we had fun, too!

The tracking course ran until about 1 on Sunday, then I had over an hour drive home, so Mother's Day was pretty low-key.  Angel had to work & Randy was sick, I went to Mom's myself and we had pizza.  

I got her some pretty impatiens.

And I got myself these funky petunias.
I was going to stay away from petunias, since they're a pain in the ass with needing to be deadheaded & such, but these are so cool!  They're like black double blooms. 
My crabapple / redbud / whatever it is tree bloomed!  It smells SO good!  The leaves will start to yellow in July and be almost bare by the end of August, but this makes it worth keeping around!   My lilac is blooming too, but since Randy trimmed it way down, there's only a couple small bunches on it right now. 
I had Rusty outside yesterday.  I was sitting on the bench, enjoying the afternoon, when he noticed some birds & took off.  Too bad I had the leash around my wrist!  He clotheslined himself and looked surprised about it.

So this weekend should be pretty quiet, too.  Randy is in Ohio for Hamvention.  And Angel is getting ready to go out for the evening.  She was almost living over at the boyfriend's house for several months, until she wore out her welcome.  So she only goes over there occasionally now.   I'm 2 weeks behind on watching RuPaul's DragRace, so I'll go turn that on once I'm done here. 

We were supposed to have mounted training Sunday with the Undersheriff, but it was cancelled due to lack of response from the rest of the team.   That's OK.  I have plenty to do around here anyway, altho it would be nice to get out riding.  It's supposed to be warm during the day with severe storms later.  I like a good storm!

I think that's it in a nutshell.  


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

#AtoZChallenge Reflections

Whew!  I'm glad that's over with!  I needed a blogging break. 

This was my 8th A to Z Challenge and this was probably the biggest struggle I've ever had!   Every other year I've had a topic in mind months ahead of time, if not during the previous challenge.  Not this year.  Even when I went to go write my theme reveal post - I had nothing solid until I typed it out that I was going to write about *me*.   I wasn't too happy with it at first, but the only letter I skipped was X, only because I was starting to get behind & couldn't think of anything good anyway.

Disclaimer - I'm back on track!  I already have an idea for 2020 and started my little spreadsheet with ideas for each letter. 

Soooo. I'm just going to use the prompts from the A to Z Reflections post. 

1. What did you love about the challenge this year? Having my posts go live at 0000 UTC. Then I was usually towards the top of the Facebook comment thread when I posted my link. 

2. What would you change about it? Nothing that I can think of. 

3. What was the best moment for you during this year's challenge? The end!

4. What is the best comment your blog got during the challenge, and who left the comment? The lovely Retired Knitter who said she enjoyed my upbeat attitude and my spontaneous theme. 

5. Will you do the challenge again? Definitely!

6. Was it well organized and were the hosts helpful? (Did you fill out the after survey?) Yes, I did complete the after-survey. I didn't interact with any hosts this year, but they've always been helpful in the past. 

7. How did you and your blog grow, change, or improve as a result of this challenge? Did you find new blogs out there to enjoy? Yes, I found several new ones. And I'm slacking that I haven't yet checked my stats. 

8. Were you on the Master List? (If you did the challenge last year, was it better this time without the daily lists?) I like having the master list so much better than daily lists! I never did figure those out until too late. Where once the master list was closed, I saved it onto my computer and am still visiting new blogs. 

9. Any suggestions for our future? Keep up the good work!

10. Any notes to the co-host team? A word of thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work on the graphics? A picture with your A to Z shirt, if you ordered one? Thank you Jeremy and hosts for all you do! I love the badges this year, too. 

One last thing - I can't believe I forgot this for my Z post....!

Last summer we were in Chicago for my great-nephew's baby shower. One of the "games" had us all get a page with a letter on it and draw a picture corresponding to that letter. Then they were made into a book. 

When my nephew was a baby, he couldn't say "Aunt Lisa" so he called me Zaza.  
Z was the perfect letter for me on multiple levels! 


Monday, April 29, 2019

#atoZChallenge - Zombies (of course!)

Hi, Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz! I'm doing a pretty random theme this year - things that make me happy / are guilty pleasures / whatever makes me... ME!

What other word would I use for Z?  

My favorite monster truck.
I even have Hot Wheels versions of it...
The one on the right is the 2015 Halloween edition. 
 Zombie night at the local ballpark. 
 I even have custom painted zombie nutcrackers! 
And a nice zombie plant, too.