Monday, November 25, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - the Holidaze and more - part 2

Happy Monday!  

Woohoo! I'm so happy that the studio didn't get any info (or calls / emails returned) about dancing at the Lions halftime show on Thanksgiving.  I get 3 evenings to myself instead of running off to Ford Field every night!   

I went to another annual craft show with mom & the sisters this weekend - look at what I bought!!

I totally need a good drag queen name for her.  I put the pic on FB and I really like my niece's suggestion of "Fantasia".  Yes, I name inanimate objects.  It's truly easier when you have a big display like I do at Halloween to name them, since when I tell Miss Angela that 'Jayne' needs to be moved or something, she knows exactly which prop that is.   However I don't do that as much at Christmas.  I have approximately 75 gazillion nutcrackers - they're not all being named!!

Onto 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!

The Holidays and More: Part 2

1. What state/country do you live in? SE Michigan (clearly, since I mentioned going to Ford Field!!!)

2. Where were you born? Were you raised there? I was born in a little town about 15 miles from where I live now.  My mom still lives in the house her & Dad bought when they got married 50+ years ago (Dad passed away 10/09 and they'd had their 50th anniversary 4/09) . That's where all of us grew up.  The only time I lived outside of Michigan was during my 8 years in the Navy.   I will note that if hubby says we're moving to Arkansas (where he's from) I'd be packing before he finished the sentence!

3. How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales? Will you participate? I think it's crap and there's no way I will subject myself to such asshattery. My deepest sympathy to the employees that have to work in that.

4. Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot? Will you do one this year? No.  I'm sure there will be walks taken around my sister's house.

5. What was your favorite toy as a child? I was odd.  I loved playing outside, so I had my worms & dirt. I also had a bunch of Barbies and a Raggedy Ann doll that went everywhere with me.  I was so sad when Ann fell apart, but I managed to find another, almost identical one at the Salvation Army and had to get her!  This one has a different dress and made of sturdier material, but she still has the embroidered "I Love You" on her chest.  

6. Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  Keeping Kenlie's answer..... I’m always aware of how much I eat (even when it’s too much.) I won’t eat everything that I see on Thanksgiving, but I won’t count the points too closely either. (I should. I know I should…I’m just being honest about it.)

7. Will you watch football Thursday?  Most likely.  We know the Lions will be playing!

8. Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  Yes!  I'm slowly gathering Thanksgiving / Harvest decor, but I started to choke it out already by bringing in the Nutcracker Army to I could check them all over for needed repairs / restorations.  I have a bunch of Christmas blowmolds that will go in the yard on Saturday.

9. Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope. Unless you could the fact that I break out in fat?

10. Is it snowing where you live?  We've had some flurries, but nothing major yet. Cold enough to cause ice crystals in your nose, tho!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments. We had some new FMM-ers last week so let’s be sure to make them feel welcome this week! Happy Monday, friends

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Annual craft show shopping trips

2 weeks ago was the first of the 2 annual craft shows that I always attend with Mom & both sisters.  The second was today. It's a tradition that we never miss!  In the past, I have taken Miss Angela to her dance convention an hour away, then drive back 45 minutes to go to the craft show & then go back.   This year, I was thrilled to find out that Clawson HS was having theirs a week earlier than usual, so I didn't have to do any juggling & extra driving.  Woohoo!

I think it is safe to say that I'm finally allowing the Christmas Spirit to seep into me.  Altho I still refuse to turn that radio station in the car (but am not offended to hear carols in stores) and I will not begin to decorate until after Thanksgiving. 

I got this bear to put a gift card in for the MIL.  I had originally moved this one to look at a Christmas-ier one behind it, then I looked closer.  The ribbon says "Love".  

I love these stuffed Gingies!  So when I saw this little ornament, 
I had to get it. 
Maddie approves. 

Couldn't pass up the mummy!

Maddie also approves!

These are young adult books, but they seemed interesting.  I bought them from the author himself, who signed them for me. He told me there are 3 more in the works, Odd Ohio, Creepy California & I forgot the other. 

And I always buy a personalized ornament from one certain booth, every year since I first came back to Michigan in 2000.  I keep track of what I have so I don't get too many duplicates. 

And one can never have too many Christmas earrings!

So today was at Eisenhower HS.  It's a pretty big show and there were tons of people.  Makes for some good people-watching!  I can honestly say that I would never be one of those women who drag the old man around with them.  The only guy I saw who actually looked happy was a real Santa!  He was in civilian clothes, tho.  Mom went up and asked him why he was there instead of at the North Pole.  She apparently was entertained talking to him!

 I got the ceramic turkey on the pumpkins & the blue beaded ornament. 

 A Gingy tree & a tree spider.

Have you ever heard about the Legend of the Christmas Spider?

An old European legend tells of a poor elderly woman unable to afford elaborate decorations for her tree. 
The woman decorated her tree as best she could, then she went to bed. A spider that had been watching her decorate came town to get a better look.  As the spider climbed in & out of the branches, she left her webs behind. 
The first rays of sunlight on Christmas morning struck the webs and turned them into beautiful silver threads. When the woman awoke, she found that her tree was covered with shimmering tinsel.
Ever since that day, the spider & tinsel have become symbols of good fortune. 

 A stained glass turkey. 

And because Miss Angela is special - a sweatshirt from Ike HS.  She has this thing where she likes to wear items from schools that she does not attend.  This will be her 3rd non-Utica shirt!

And my absolute favorite purchase of all!  I need to come up with a drag queen name for this deer.  She is so FABULOUS!  Check out those eyelashes!!  So many people stopped & commented or asked about her !  Even Santa commented on her!  "Rudolph!  Why are you here??"  I hugged her and said Rudolph was going home with ME. So Santa said he would stop in to visit on the night of the 24th.  I told him I'd have cookies waiting!

My next favorite purchase this week is from the Salvation Army.  I stopped in to kill some time Wednesday night and saw this awesome nutcracker rocking horse. I didn't get it then, since I waffled about paying $20 for it.  But once I got home, I kept thinking about it & kicking myself for not getting it.  So I went back after work Thursday, I thought if it was still there, it was meant to be mine.  Clearly it was! 
It is in 99.998% pristine condition - there is a tiny little chip in the red paint on the horse's ear. 

I did get a couple smaller nutcrackers at the Sal Army.  One is in such bad shape that the girl ringing me up commented on it.  "You do know he has no arms, rights?"  I'm going to try my hand at doing some restoration & repainting.  And if I screw this one up, I'm only out 50 cents!

I don't know what I'm going to do this Thanksgiving!  The last 4 years we haven't gotten to spend time with the family until mid afternoon on Thursday, due to Miss Angela dancing at the halftime show during the Lions game.  Apparently they got a new production company this year and the contact person only works Tuesdays & Thursdays and did not return calls or emails about extra dancers. Even tho it is very interesting, I'm actually pretty happy that I won't need to drive downtown 3 afternoons in a row (M/T/W) for rehearsals and then to the local mall on Thursday to meet the bus. Angel's OK with not going, too.  Her friend Taylor is pretty bummed, since she was really looking forward to going.  It's her first year with the studio.  

Whew, it's getting late!  Randy left today for Arkansas again.  He just spent last weekend there, but he had flown into Little Rock and did a radio contest at his best friend's house.  This time he's driving to his mom's house to spend Turkey Day with her.  He left around 1 pm and I just got a text from him that he's stopping for the night - finally!  He's inside Arkansas already, but I knew that.  There's a neat thing attached to his mobile radio called ARPS (Amateur Radio Positioning System) that basically tracks him.  I have one on my car, too.  Mine is pretty pointless, but it's nice when he's on long trips since I can see where he is and I know his mom is watching him, too.  Then she knows when to expect him. 

Oh gosh - Maddie is telling me that it's time for bed, so I guess I need to sign off - later!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - Holidaze!

We had such a fun weekend! I'm sure I've gained at least 25 lbs (small exaggeration - probably just 20) from not even thinking about Weight Watchers or good choices. My daughter & her competition dance team had a convention for the whole weekend. Granted most of the day (while they were dancing with various choreographers), I sat on my ass and watched, but the evening made up for it! Story Here

But I found it was easier to use the stairs in the hotel than to use the elevator. The ballrooms and most of our suites were on the end of the wing, and the elevators were in the middle of the building. The door to the stairs was right outside our door. However, I was happy to realize later that each time I ran from ballroom to suite, I did RUN up those stairs!

Anyhow, some tired kids last night!! We had to leave the hotel & go get the dog from my sister & that ended up being a 90 minute + drive, and I did see Angel going head bobs over there, but she didn't want to recline her seat! What a goof!

Onto 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!


1. What are you plans for Thanksgiving this year? Usually I have to go crazy running Miss Angel and extra girls to Ford Field for the Detroit Lions Halftime show rehearsals, but we haven't gotten any info yet so I don't think it's actually happening this year. I have a half day of work Wednesday, and she doesn't have school, so we'll go to my sister's house like usual. We will probably stay til Saturday or until I get tired of them!

2. At what point do you being celebrating the Christmas season? Friday after Thanksgiving, I will help my sister drag her Christmas stuff out of storage and put up her tree. I will start putting my stuff out when I get home. That's when I will finally start maybe turning on that one radio station that has been playing Christmas music since before Halloween.

3. Do you celebrate Christmas, or do you celebrate another holiday? Yes!

4. If you could have one present (you know, a material good, not love or world peace) what would you want? I'd love a new car, but that won't happen. So I want an Amazon card so I can get more books for my Kindle.  And cute underwear.

5. Share an idea or two that you can plan to do for someone who may need to feel loved throughout the holiday season. Hmmm. We always send gifts & gift cards to Randy's mom who lives alone in Arkansas. That was she can go out to dinner with her sister or whoever. We spend every other year with her, but this is our "off" year. His sister is there, but she's pretty useless. And he is leaving next Saturday to drive down and spend Thanksgiving with her.

6. Would you rather spend the holiday season on the beach or in the snow? I am a Northern girl. I like the cold! I had to spend a Christmas alone in California one year while in the Navy - there were 2 different report dates listed on my orders to a new command, so I, of course, opted to check in at the earlier one and my ship was out to sea! So I had a room on base and put up a little tree and the presents I'd received from home. But it didn't feel like Christmas at all!

7. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? All of it!

8. Will you participate in Black Friday shopping? Hell.To.The.No. I don't care much for shopping to begin with and I sure won't go throw myself into a crazy shopping fray!

9. Will you travel for the holidays or stay at home? If you’re traveling, are you flying or driving or making alternate plans? Driving to my sister's - about 40 minutes.

10. List at least 5 things for which you are currently thankful.
  • my family & critters
  • my worldly possessions (roof over my head, dependable car, clothes to wear, etc)
  • my job
  • everyone's health
  • my talents & creativity
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!

Tremaine 2013

As usual, this was a very fun weekend!  I was pretty happy that I actually got to stay for the entire thing, instead of dropping Miss Angela off and leaving right away.  This is her 4th time going & I've never seen her ballet classes! 

There was a small misunderstanding with our room.  We were under the impression that a VIP suite slept 6, so that's what we got.  Besides us, Laura & Maloree, we had Angela (mom) and Christina (new to the team) in there, too. Once the room was finally ready, I went to check it out.  One part of the suite was a regular room with a King sized bed, TV cabinet, table / chair and bathroom.  Then the adjoining door opened and the other room was like a huge living room.  Another TV cabinet, bathroom, a sofa sleeper, a beautiful kitchenette & dining table.  However, I didn't see where it slept 6!!  So Angela went to talk to them at the desk.  She was told that noone should have told her it slept 6.  5 at the most.  5?!?!?  Where???  There was 1 bed & 1 sofa sleeper!  So she managed to get 2 rollaway beds at no cost and also 3 vouchers for breakfast at one of the restaurants.  Awesome!  The 3 girls ended up in the king bed & I had the sofa sleeper, Laura & Angela on the rollaways.  It was a nice room, tho. 

2013 / 14 Dancers Only Competition Team
They were facing the fancy, glassed in elevators in the hotel and as they were posing, they saw Tony (the street choreographer whom everyone is in love with) in the elevator.  There was swooning all around when he came around the corner & whipped out his own camera & took a pic of the team! 

Our door.  

Jeff, ballet
(with Ashley)

during ballet

Keri, Contemporary
(with Ashley again!)

during contemporary

Laurie, Rhythm Tap
(again, with Ashley)

Laurie's shoes - they are mesmerizing when she dances!!

Waiting for the scholarship auditions.
They had about 10 minutes to learn a ballet combination & perform it as best as they could. If they got pulled aside, they moved on.  None of our girls made the first cut, but ballet is not the strongest point of anyone at DOS!  

Ready to audition!

OMG! Marty Dew!!
(with Kayla this time)

Making faces at me while putting on her shoes.  
~someone~ was asked if she packed all her shoes, but managed to leave both her hightops (that she wanted Marty to sign) and her Kombat boots at home.  So she wore her new Vans. 

Marty signing her hat. 


Tiffany, lyrical
(Ashley again)

Ashley, Angel & Kayla in lyrical

during lyrical

Tony, street
He was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance and also just finished shooting the Step Up 5 movie. 

For some reason I didn't get any pics of her with Derrick, the Jazz teacher - so here he is from 2 years ago with Mal & Angel photobombing.  I apparently didn't take any pics last year?  That's crazy talk, but I can't find anything other than team pics on my computer or any blog posts or on Facebook!

Joe Tremaine, the brains behind this all. 

We had a lot of fun Saturday night.  Laura, Angela & spawn went out to eat, but we went to Terina's (studio owner) suite for pizza and eventually the adult beverages. Then girls wandered off to hang out in other people's rooms or to the pool.  I stayed and visited with other moms.  After a few beverages, the conversation got risque and it was hilarious!  I thought some of these women were prudes - I was WRONG!  LOL!  Then some of us got up to dance & Terina announced to the world that I could twerk, so I had to demonstrate.  Etc, etc. etc.  We also received drink tickets for a dinky bar in the hotel lobby, there wasn't much selection, so I got a Coors Light.  It didn't go well after drinking Pina Coladas, vodka & Monster and watermelon vodka with Sprite. I went back to my PCs.  I finally herded Laura & Angela back to the room around midnight,  they were in much worse shape than I.  I thought I was going to have to smother them with pillows!!  The girls were highly entertained. 

I was up at 7am, Sunday and happily did the Happy Good Morning song & dance for the girls.  Mal & Christina giggled, but Angel didn't even move. 

They were done with classes at 2:30 and the faculty show was right afterward.  Then we stalked Tony so she could get him to sign her hat, then we were in the car at 3:20.  Yay!  

I have no idea why I cannot drive into Detroit or the surrounding areas without getting twisted around and finding all those really bad areas that you hear about!!  Going there, I took I-94 and got off on Michigan Ave.  I somehow missed that intersection and suddenly did not recognize the area & it seemed pretty seedy.  So I grabbed my phone & looked at the map app and realized I was going parallel to 94.  So I turned down a side street, hoping to find the on-ramp.  I did, but we drove by those run down creepy houses that are a stereotypical Detroit slum, with the burnt out house and broken furniture.  It's so sad since those houses had to be beautiful back in the day!  

Anyhooo, 90 minutes later we arrived at my sister's house to get the dog.  I went out to help her put the horses away for the night & we visited for a while.  By the time we went to leave (someone was tired & crabby) those lovely storms showed up.  There were times that the rain was a soft, nice rain, but then it would look like we hit a wall and it would just downpour!  That's when I could barely see past the front of the car!  We finally got home and listened to the wind.  I was so glad I had all the patio furniture & the last of the Halloween stuff put away before this hit!  I even took the wind chime & bird feeder into the garage. My flagpole snapped, too. Luckily,we haven't lost power.  Lots of people have. 

I bet there won't be much dancing done at classes tonight, they're going to be still giddy about this past weekend! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you!

To all of those who served before me, with me and after me - 
Thank you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy (1st week of) November!

Sheesh it's been insane around here lately!

Trying to get all my Halloween stuff set up, having to stop what I'm doing at random times to take Miss Angela to dance, the requisite family outings (ugh!), Domestic Goddess chores, and of course....a Witch Crawl for Charity!

We all (approximately 50 witches) met at bar #1 the Saturday before Halloween, had a few beverages.  Got on a bus, had another beverage and drove what seemed like forever to bar #2.  Had fun looking at other people's costumes & dancing & having more beverages.  Got on a bus, opened a beverage and didn't even realize we moved, went to bar #3 (it was across the street from #2) danced & had more beverages.  Back on the bus and yet another beverage or 2 to bar #1 and went home.  Honestly I drank more that night than I have in the past year or so combined! On the plus side, a percentage of our tab at each bar went to breast cancer research - hence the pink witches!

It was a family affair!
These are my sisters Laurie (left) and Linda (right).

Co-worker Lisa & me

Co-worker Gerri & me

It was a lot of fun - and thankfully, bar #1 was only about 2 miles from my house, so Randy was the DD for Laurie & I.  She stayed the night so she didn't have to skip the beverages.

I was pretty useless all day Sunday thanks to the Witch Crawl, but I did drag myself out to get pumpkins & carve them!  We made the mistake of telling Angel years ago that she could get as big of a pumpkin as she could carry herself.  All of her dancing & stuff has made her a strong cookie, so hers is the ginormous one in the back.

I was pretty happy with how the cemetery looked this year. I'm starting to figure out how to get the intense blue & green lights that I want to bad.  And I'm already thinking about improvements for next year.  Apparently that's the sign of a true Haunter and not just someone who throws some stuff in the yard for the night. Halloween is truly a lifestyle & not just a holiday!

This is how I made the best of the gas company digging in the yard.  At the request of the guys who did the digging, I made a special stone for this new "grave".  

I finally got my fence!  Granted I cheated and got 4 rolls of garden fencing from Lowe's, but it was definitely cheaper & less time consuming than making the length that I needed.  60 feet worked quite nicely.

This one needed a special place, since it is such a cool stone.
From Secret Reaper #1

Jayne & Hugh (from Secret Reaper #2)

Miss Angela started out at a party, but did go Trick or Treating with a bunch of people from school.  
Her & Shelby were cats - how original!

View from the neighbor's driveway.  

LOVE the blue!  This is the look I'm dreaming of!
I may need to corral the blowmolds in a different part of the yard, tho.  
They wash out the color. 


And now the reverse is true, trying to get everything sorted out & put away.  All of the blowmolds are in the shed.  I took the Christmas ones out & washed them down, so they're ready to be put up (after Thanksgiving!)  The fences still need to be rolled & stowed. And I've barely begun to take stuff down inside. This weekend is the first of the craft shows with the family.  Next weekend is the Tremaine dance convention downtown & the weekend after is craft show #2.  Then there's 3 days of running to Ford Field for halftime show rehearsals, Thanksgiving & a trip to Huckleberry Railroad / Crossroads Village for the Christmas tree lighting & fireworks.  

I'm tired thinking of it all!