Monday, August 26, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - Q&A

Holy crap! I lost track of time! I'm finally on vacation!!! It's hard to believe we left home this morning & have done & seen so much!  I am so tickled, my Halloween display is called Maple Grove Cemetery and I discovered that there are 33 REAL Maple Grove Cemeteries in Michigan!!!  6 of which are in this general area!  So my darling hubby worked our route to include going to visit them.

Right now we are in Petoskey (imagine the upper pinky-finger area of the Mitten) , we plan to visit Traverse City, Ludington & go to Michigan's Adventure and finally end up in Grand Rapids.

Now it’s time for FMM.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic.

Questions and Answers

1. What is a typical weekday like for you?  My alarm goes off at 5;30am, I finally roll out of bed around 6.  I'm at work 7:30 to 3:30.  Afterward (for now) I'm free, but next week, the girl starts school, and the week after she starts dance, so that means shuttling her to the studio 3 days a week. Then I have to work in my WW meeting, grocery shopping and other domestic fun.

2. Name one song that never fails to make you happy and one song that you always listen to when you’re sad. Oh man.  Lots of songs make me happy & I don't have a sappy sad song.  if I am sad, I would rather not listen to anything.

3. Did you watch the VMA’s last night? The only part I caught was JT - and from what I heard, I didn't miss anything else!

4. Share at least two that you possess. Hmm, I think something is missing from this question.  I think it's supposed to be "talents".  I'm creative & can use power tools!

5. Share one thing that you wish you had the confidence to do. I sometimes wish I could make small talk.  I can chat with strangers some, but nothing witty or interesting.

6. Tell us about one insecurity that people might be surprised that you have. I hate being late - I think that goes back to being late to a class on the first day of school in my senior year - and the multiple groans that ensued.

7. If you could be the CEO of any company, which one would you choose to lead? Hmm.  After watching the owner of the company I work for take a satellite phone on vacation with him so he can call in from the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro - I don't think I want to be that high up!!

8. List at least three hobbies that make you happy. I love photography, making props for Halloween & cross-stitching.

9. Is there someone in your life that you wish you could say “I love you” to? I say it to about everyone in my family.

10. Share one cool thing that happened over the weekend. 
I'm on vacation, so it's still the weekend for me!

Feets in Lake Michigan.

The sunset from Petoskey State Park.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday, friends!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - School days

This is pretty appropriate, considering the time of year!  When I was in school, I'd be getting ready to go back, but sometime between the time I moved away & had my own kid - Michigan schools changed to start the Tuesday after Labor Day.  That's cool, since I can't tell you have bad it sucked to start school on my birthday (August 29) and it did many times!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

School Days

1. What was your favorite subject in school? English  I'm even friends with my old high school English teacher on Facebook!

2. Did you attend elementary school and high school in the same town? Yes.  The same school all 4 of my older siblings went to.  And one niece. There are only 2 elementary schools in Clawson and 1 middle school that is attached to the only high school.

3. Are you still friends with anyone that you met during school? Yes, thanks to Facebook!  It amazes me how many classmates married other classmates.  I personally couldn't wait to move away!

4. What activities were you involved in as a student? Not a darn thing.  I tried out for the volleyball team, but since I wasn't one of the "cool kids" I didn't make the team.  Ability meant nothing.

5. Did you bring your lunch, or did you get it at school? I usually took my own lunch but had to buy on pizza Thursdays - those lovely greasy rectangle slabs of pizza.

6. Did you enjoy shopping for clothing and school supplies? I seem to recall Mom doing all my shopping.  I apparently didn't care, since I let her dress me til high school, when I finally must have realized how horrible I looked.

7. Name a song or a band that reminds you of high school.  Areosmith's Angel.  The only song I danced to prom!  Want to hear something off-the-wall?  I went with a freshman to my senior prom - and I asked him!  Can we say LOOOSER?  LOL!  But at least I got to go and we had fun.

8. Did you like school? Not really. It was something that I had to do.  I was an average student, and because I didn't fit into any "clique" I just sort of faded into the background.

9. How long have you been out of school? I graduated in 1991.  I got my associates degree in 2008.

10. What did you like most about school? What did you dislike most about school? The part I disliked were the other kids.  I only had a couple friends.   I remember my senior year, having a co-op class at the middle school (to help prepare you for an office job) and their classes didn't match up with ours.  I ended up being late to my next class and there was a collective groan when I peeked into the room.  I thank God all the time that my own kid is exactly the opposite that I was.  She is a total social butterfly.   The best part was the day I saw the Navy recruiter standing in the hall, minding his own business.  I don't recall what I said to him, but it had to have been the easiest sell in recruiting history!

Happy Monday!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekend Update

Happy Sunday!  Apparently everyone is sleeping late today!  I looked at the clock (after waking up earlier due to an orange cat hogging my pillow - his butt was on my shoulder & his back against my ear!) at 10 and got up right away.  I heard Randy move around 10:45 and say "oh shit" so he must have looked at the clock, too!  Miss Angela's up moving around so I had to do the "Happy Good Morning" dance for her!  

I didn't get to go weigh in Thursday like I wanted, I ended up going Saturday.  
Tracking sucked badly.  But I still had a 2 lbs loss!  
This means 2.6 lbs to lose in the next 2 weeks so I can be in Onederland!!

Last night we went to a party to celebrate a former co-worker of Randy's elopemnet!  Both Brian and his lovely bride Karen have family from all over (she's from Trinidad) so there's was a big mix of people.  And of course some real Caribbean food. Mmmm!  I've heard of jerked chicken but have never had it. I guess if you're going to try something new, it's best by someone who really knows how to make the real thing!   I'm glad they toned it down a little bit because it was spicy!  Karen't brother told me that they normally make it with a lot more kick!  Everyone was really friendly, the kids were well behaved.  And for not knowing anyone other than Randy, and Brian I'd met briefly before - it was fun.  

Activity was pretty awesome this past week!
I was expecting a lot more than 12 APs from Cedar Point on Monday. 

This is the reason I didn't make it my Thursday meeting.  
I pulled this out of my front tire and it deflated like a balloon!

Friday after work I went to HomeGoods to look at their Halloween goodies and this caught my attention while waiting for a register. 
 Hmmm.  Interesting!

 4 PPs per serving / 4 servings per bag. 

 And odd pinkish color, but makes sense because it IS pomegranate! 

They're pretty good.  I picked up more of the sweetish pom flavor where Randy tasted more of the white cheddar.  They were good, but I don't think it's something I would crave and go out specifically looking for it. 

btw - this is what I really went to HomeGoods for!    

It sounds like everyone is awake & moving, so we are going to head out to breakfast - have a great day!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cedar Point!

 Sunday afternoon, we picked up our rent-a-child, Taylor (she went on vacation with us last year, too) and went to Ohio!

I haven't been to Cedar Point in 24 years - I only know that because that's how old my niece Catie is, and she was only a couple weeks old last time we were there.  

In the car


 We had dinner Sunday night at a place along Fun Dr. 

 I was informed that I need Randy's approval before ever making hotel reservations online again.  The HoJo we stayed at was clearly not a 5 star establishment.  It was an older hotel & the wifi sucked badly.  Angel was able to connect with her iPod,  Taylor and I could see but not connect with our iPhones & Randy didn't even get a signal on his Android.  There were water leakage marks on the ceiling & dirty cobwebs, etc.  But the beds were clean & the shower worked well & we had no neighbors.  It was a place to sleep. I heard about the damn lack of wifi 1000 times!   But that sign was kitty-corner across the intersection from us!
We didn't go see the dinosaurs, but they were all over the park. 

Randy isn't one to go on roller coasters & such, but the girls & I hit all the major coasters...Raptor (feet dangle), Mantis (you stand up!), Millennium Force (the longest wait in line, about an hour), the Dragster (the only one I felt a twinge of fear before getting on), the new Gatekeeper (another feet dangle one) and some of the older coasters I remember from last time I was there - the Gemini that Randy actually went on, the Corkscrew, the Magnum, the Iron Dragon (their very first coaster that hangs below the track. I can't believe I thought this was awesome last time - it was lame!)

 Dragster was pretty kick ass.  The girls sat next to each other and I was directly behind them.  This ride lasts 17 seconds and you hit 120 mph and go 420 feet in the air.  A teenage boy got in the car next to me and I apologized in advance for the screaming I was about to do.  He said that was ok, since he'd be screaming with me!  LOL!!  

The wooden Gemini is the first coaster I ever went on when I was like 10.  
I tagged along after Dad and we were in the front car. 
The force of the first hill pushed my head down between my knees and I never could straighten back up! 

 We rode on the old cars. 


On the ferris wheel with my sweetie!

It was a lot of fun.  Randy patiently waited for us while we went on rides.  He only went on a few. He had some really good people watching opportunities!  

We had gotten there when the park opened at 10am (also, the next time we're going to get a hotel that allows us to get in at 9) and by the time we hit all these rides, plus some (I didn't go on the water rides, but the girls did, so we waited on a shady bench) and when we finally got off the Gatekeeper it was around 7 pm.  I can walk all day, but standing in line killed my ankles. Plus the Magnum rattled so much that I had a headache.  I was done.  And so was everyone else.  We had paid for preferred parking, so we came out of the main gate, crossed the street and there was the car.  yay!  As we left that park and crossed the causeway, we saw some dark clouds & lightning.  So we had left at the right time!  

By the time we got gas, had dinner, drove back to Michigan, dropped Taylor off at home...we were home by 11:30.  We didn't bother to shower or anything - just fell into bed. 

It was a lot of walking, a lot of people, but a lot of fun!  I don't think I'll wait another 24 years before going again.  Next time we'll get the Fast Pass, so we will have much shorter lines to wait in!

How was your weekend?

Hobo weekend

Happy Tuesday!  i am totally screwed up on my days already this week.  but I'll get to that.  Post #2

Friday after work, I went to sister Laurie's house for one of our Hobo Weekends.  I'm not sure how this name came to be, but it involves the females in our family.  It's usually coincides with some fence painting that always needs to be done at Laurie's house.  We went out to dinner, did some Chinese fire drills, went for an after-dark walk withe flashlights & the dogs and had some s'mores and adult beverages around the bonfire. it sounds perfectly ridiculous, but we have a lot of fun and usually have a nice visit with each other.
Random little tree that is changing colors already!

Our soon-to-be roommates.

Laurie & Linda by the fire.

there was a bunch of long weeds around the fire pit, 
but we still enjoyed it!

Around 2 am, Linda decided to retire to the house, but Laurie & I opted to sleep in the barn.  We put the air mattress down in the aisle between the stalls.  Kisses (the paint) was totally quiet all night.  Never heard a peep or movement from her.  Princess (the bay) made up for it.  She looked for and ate (loudly) every piece of hay in her stall, she pushed the door and made it rattle.  She scraped her teeth on the bars.  Captain wasn't horribly loud.  He paced some.  He rubbed his butt on the wall.  He ate his hay. He snorted all over me. And he stared.  Every time I rolled over - there he was. Even when he was lying down - he stared.  I'm sure he was wondering WHY we were lying on the floor outside his room. 

It was hard to sleep with eyes staring at you all night!
I could reach over & touch his nose from my sleeping bag. 

This was my view Saturday morning.

Linda had to leave Saturday, but the girls & I helped Laurie paint her arena fence. 
Ready to paint!
We all have designated paint clothes to wear at Laurie's house. 

For some reason, I am the only one who got any sun at all! 
And I got A LOT!

Squeee!  LOOK!  I have hollows in my cheeks!  I can't tell you how long it has been since my face has been thin enough to see those!

Anyway....the next post will cover the rest of the weekend!

Friend Makin' Monday - Have You Ever.....?

I'm late getting to the party - we were at Cedar Point yesterday and when we got home, we fell into bed and that was it!   OMG.  We had so much fun!  It was a perfect day - overcast and around 75*.  My voice is so hoarse today!  That's going to be post probably later today over at Tales from the Love Shaque.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Have You Ever?

1. Jumped out of an airplane? No, but I'm not opposed to it.  If I don't ever do it, I won't truly feel a void.

2. Lived alone? Yes.  But I think I would appreciate it more now that I'm older.

3. Met a celebrity?  Obviously not a major one if I did, since I can't think of any!

4. Said something to someone that you immediately regret saying?  Yes.

5. Had a manicure/pedicure? Yes.

6. Gotten a hickey? Yes. It was pretty embarrassing since it showed on my security badge!

7. Owned a pet that was not a dog or a cat?  Yes.  I currently have fish.  And I've had hamsters, a guinea pig (he liked NASCAR and drinking beer) and the occasional hermit crab.

8. Been outside of your home country? Yes.  I spent 8 years in the Navy and got to visit some cool places.  And I've been on a couple non-Navy cruises to tropical places.

9. Kissed your best friend? Yes.  And I do more than that since I'm married to him!

10. Eaten food that fell on the floor?  Only in my own house.

11. Met someone online? Yes. That's how I met the hubby!

12. Been on TV? Yes.

13. Had braces? Nope.

14. Gone skinny dipping?  Yes, lots of times!  Very enjoyable.

15. Been to the opera? No.  I think I'd like to see one.

16. Been caught making out by a policeman? I don't think so!

17. Sung in public?  I guess karaoke would count, so yes.

18. Handed out candy on Halloween? Yes.  I do a big yard display and I love to see & hear people's reactions to it.

19. Been snowed in? Yes, a few times.  I live in SE Michigan.

20. Fallen in front of other people?  Yes.

21. Cheated on a test? No, I was always terrified of getting caught.

22. Regretted saying “I love you” to someone?  No.

23. Finished a meal in a restaurant and realized that you didn’t have your wallet?  Not me, but an old boyfriend did.  He left me at the restaurant while he ended up driving back to his job site to find it.  I was mortified!

24. Shot a gun?  Yes.  I did in bootcamp and also at a range.  We grew up with BB guns and the many trees around our house took the brunt.  I own a 12-gauge but haven't taken it out of the case for 10+ years.

25. Heard a song that was written for (or about) you? Yes.  It ended up being our first dance at our wedding.  Gary Allen's The One.

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

...oops! Forgot.

My progress reports for the week.  I'm going back to Thursday meetings next week.  I'm hoping I can keep that day this fall, with working around a certain little Missy's dance schedule.

Yeah,  Saturday was bad.  Between the Yankee Candle Preview Party, siren test and the 8-cemetery camera test ...I was hardly home. And quite honestly - the Son of Baconator at Wendy's really wasn't all I thought it should be.   I kick myself for not noticing the ad for the Bacon Cheddar burger on a pretzel roll before I ordered.  If I was going to splurge, it should have been on something that made me say "WOW".

127% - BAM!

And for something that makes me happy.  We had gone over to my Mom's earlier this summer to help clean up the yard before my niece's grad party.  Spaced along the once fence in her yard are a bunch of rose bushes that had been Dad's pride & joy.  (Dad passed away 10/09).  As I was pulling weeds, I noticed was is most likely a sucker plant growing near the fence.  So I dug it up.  One branch was in the neighbor's yard and one sprout in Mom's!! So I brought it home and put it in a flower pot on the patio.  All the leaves dropped off, so I really thought I'd lost it.  It was just 2 sticks for a while. 
Look at it now!!

I just put it in my flower bed tonight.  It had a lovely set of roots on it!
I'm really hoping it is an offspring of the plant it was nearest to - a yellow rose with pink edges - the prettiest one Dad had!  if I ever move from this house - a cutting of this plant will go with me.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

65 lbs !!!!!


I finally hit the 65 lb mark tonight!  I'm at my all time lowest weight since probably before Miss Angela was born.

To celebrate this victory...
a really bad iPhone pic!

I really like this skirt - I found it at WalMart - the last one in that color.  I almost left it on the rack, since it is a size large.  I never thought it would fit.  I had a couple other things to try on, so I grabbed it for the hell of it. Obviously - it fits nicely!  I love how its a little longer in the back.  It feels really neat swishing on the backs of my legs when I walk.

I also have cheekbones!  A coworker noticed it.  I appreciate this lady, since we will go out & walk around the yard.  We figured out that 4 laps around is 1.5 miles (according to MapMyWalk) and today we did it in 22 minutes.  We didn't feel like we were walking faster, but we were, since on 7/12 we did it in 30 minutes.

I am so happy!

But I have a dilemma.  I want to be in Onderland by my birthday which is 8/29.  But we're going to be on vacation that & I most likely won't be making it to a meeting, wherever we are!  So I won't know!!  Ugh!

OK, the topic at the meeting tonight was about getting a good nights' sleep.  I think it's time to go do so!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - My Community

Happy Monday!  Spent a lovely weekend breaking in my new camera (over 300 pics at 9 different cemeteries - call me weird but I love the art & history & in this case - adventure!) and going to the Yankee Candle Boney Bunch Preview Party - but I only bought 2 pieces.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

My Community

1. Where were you born? Did you grow up there? I was born in SE Michigan and joined the Navy after high school to get away! I graduated with most of the same people I went to kindergarten with.  My parents lived in the same house for 50+ years.  Mom still lives there.  Sadly - I now like about 10 miles away.

2. Tell us about your favorite spot in your city. I would have to say the park at the end of my street.  It's got a nice walking trail on my half - its separated by a river - on the other half is a bunch of play structures & picnic areas & a disc golf course. Lots of trees on both sides.

3. Do you volunteer for any organizations? Nope. I used to be a Girl Scout leader until my co-leader and another stay-at-home mom stole my troop. Bitches.

4. Tell us about your favorite local restaurant. Oh man,  There are several.  Pings is a family-owned Chinese place & they have the best food.  We've gone there so much, we basically watched their son grow up. The hubby likes a little pancake house called Granmas.  I think they're OK.

5. Has your city ever experienced tragedy? If so, how did it recover? I don't know if this is classified as a tragedy - there is a large park area like 2 miles away that was "THE" place to go back in the 50s...until a nearby landfill contaminated the area and in 1974, the parks were shut down & all buildings demolished.  Happily, in 2001 - the EPA declared the area clean !  There's a Blue Heron rookery and nice nature trails to walk.

6. Share at least one unique thing about your neighborhood. The park I mentioned as my favorite spot used to be owned by the boxer Joe Louis in the late 1930s.  He raised thoroughbred horses and had a nice stable and track.  The house was renovated into a restaurant that was frequented by many local black folks. During renovation, they found the house had been a stop on the Underground Railroad.  There was a ginormous cedar tree there called the Beacon Tree that could be seen for miles.  Joe lost his farm in 1944, it was a Nike Missile Base from 1954 -1964 and the DNR took it back and it became the lovely park it is now.

7. If you could do one small thing to change your community, what would you do?  Hmmm.  I don't really know!

8. The Powerball is currently up to 400 million dollars. Would you move to a different place if you won?  I'd probably stay here until Miss Angela is off to college (or finishes since she plans to go to community college first). Then I'd love to buy & restore an old Victorian house and have lots of land. Hubby would want to go back to Arkansas and I'm OK with that.  I like it there, even if I'd melt in the heat & humidity!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to go over and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cool Cemetery stuff

If you don't care about cemeteries & Christian stuff, you probably don't want to read any further.

I went to try out my new camera and one of the cemeteries I went to (I'm weird - I love cemeteries - the history & art are amazing!) is Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Twp., MI. It just happens to be where my aunt & uncle are buried, and it was a crazy chance that I found them! It's been 9 years and the darn place has 300 acres!  I parked on the side of the road & got out to look closer at some neat stones.  On the way back to the car, I glanced down and there they were!

Anywhoooooo, they have one "garden" where they have the 14 Stations of the Cross. I'm actually not a churchy-church person - we haven't attended services in over 2 years, even tho we enjoyed them. I was raised half-assed Catholic, but didn't get baptized until 2010. So I never went to Sunday School or had first communion or anything. So I had to look this up.   

According to the cemetery website (where I learned what these were called) - these are "hero" sized - which means larger than real life.  I took each of these pics from my car window.  And thanks to for more info.

The detail and emotion is beautiful!

Station 1 - Jesus is condemned to death

Station 2 - Jesus carries the cross

Station 3 - Jesus falls the first time

Station 4 - Jesus meets his mother

Station 5 - Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

Station 6 - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Station 7 - Jesus falls the second time

Station 8 - Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Station 9 - Jesus falls a third time

Station 10 - Jesus' clothes are taken away

Station 11 - Jesus is nailed to the cross

Station 12 - Jesus dies on the cross

Station 13 - The body of Jesus to taken down from the cross

Station 14 - Jesus is laid in the tomb

There was no real reason for this post, other to share this amazing scene.