Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a day late Friend Makin' Monday - feelin' fruity!

OMG - how did I miss this???  Ugh, I haven't blogged here much lately at all!  Slackin. 

Miss Angela & I went horseback riding at my sister's this past Sunday.  It was a nice day for it!

 Jack & Captain blowing raspberries at each other.

 First...let me take a selfie!

Now onto the goods!

Friend Makin’ Mondays

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin’ Mondays before then you are familiar with 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 here 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 read and comment on a couple of other posts.

This week’s topic is ‘Feeling Fruity’

1. What is your favorite fruit?  Aw man.  This is a tough one.  There's a bunch.  Strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe.  If I had to pick one, probably strawberries.

2. Is there a fruit that you really really don’t like?  I don't like raspberries / blackberries.  I hate the little nasty crunchy seeds!  

3. If you could only drink one fruit juice for the rest of your life, what flavor would it be?  Orange juice.

4. Tomatoes – fruit or vegetable?  According to my WW leader - fruit.

5. How many portions of fruit do you eat a day?  2-3 usually.  sometimes more, sometimes less.

6. if you were making a smoothie what fruits would you add?  Strawberries and maybe some melon.

7. Are you allergic to any fruits?  No.  No allergies at all!

8. Do you have a favorite fruit recipe? Feel free to share the recipe with us.  I make banana bread a lot to send to events that the hubby is volunteering at.  Of course, it helps that a add some Malibu rum to it, too!  I usually grab the first easy banana bread recipe I find online, but when I moosh up the bananas, I pour in the Malibu to make it slightly soupy. Then follow the recipe.  The alcohol bakes off and leaves the lovely coconut flavor behind!

9. Do you have any fruits that are local to your area?  Apples!  There are some nice orchards around SE Michigan.  And if you go up north (the finger region of the mitten) there are vineyards.

10. What is your favorite fruit pie?  Apple

I would have written more, but I was up past midnight the past 2 nights and still having to be up at 5:30 is killer!  Need to turn in - g'night!

Friday, July 25, 2014

I have no words....

On iTunes, there is an album called 

Nashville Outlaws - A Tribute to Motley Crue. 

Let that sink in a minute.  

Crue hits....done country style.  

I want to know who, if anyone, from Motley Crue actually approved these covers??  
Some of them are downright BAD.  

In my non-professional opinion, a cover should sound at least a little bit like the original. Keep the music where it is at least recognizable to what song you're singing, because ya know, that's half of the song!!

Ready for this?

Kickstart My Heart ....by Rascal Flatts?

Smokin In the Boys Room....by LeAnn Rimes?

Rascal Flatts & LeAnn Rimes are Outlaws???  Who knew??  Do they know??

Home Sweet Home...by Justin Moore (I've heard this on the radio, it's bad!)

Same Ol' Situation....by Big & Rich?

Without You...by Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio?

Don't Go Away Mad...by the Eli Young Band ?
OK, this is actually a decent cover

Dr. Feelgood...by the Mavericks?
!!!!~SACRILEGE ~!!!!

Girls, Girls, Girls....by Brantley Gilbert?
a tolerable cover

Wild Side...by Gretchen Wilson?
she does a good job with this

Here's a link to the page if you want to check out this travesty of noise yourself...

Monday, July 21, 2014

A break between seasons...

Seriously - yesterday and today ARE the break between dance season 2013/14 and 2014/15.  Summer classes start up tomorrow.

We just got home yesterday from Sandusky.  We left early Tuesday morning and I swear we almost died multiple times of the way south!  First of all - driving thru Detroit is scary. I'd never make it in NASCAR - and the truck series shouldn't have 18 wheels!  At one point - south of Detroit, I-75 makes a sharp left turn - and Surprise!  The right lane was blocked with work trucks.  I was in the center lane and there was a gravel train about 5 car lengths in front of me on the right and a utility truck in front of him.  Both of them locked up their brakes until sparks flew!  I still don't know how that gravel train didn't jackknife.  Luckily no one was to my left so I could scoot over.  Then there was the bouncing Pepsi can.  I heard / felt it hit the floorboards of my car as I went over - and it flew up and nailed the car's windshield behind me!  It clearly wasn't an empty can. Then we were in Ohio.  There was a flatbed truck carrying a wrecked car in the right lane - probably 10 car lengths in front of me.  The damn bumper flew off the car into my lane!!!  I was able to swerve and miss it, but the guy behind me wasn't as lucky.  He hit it and it went into the right lane and another car hit it.  Sheesh.

We finally made it to our hotel safely.  We were able to check in early, so we had the car unloaded and were heading to Kalahari's waterpark by 1:30.  I had gotten us daypasses, and we had a pretty good time.  We went on most of the slides and rides. I almost died twice there!  I went on this thing called the Flowrider....
(why do people act surprised when I say I went on this??)  I was in line in front of a 75+ year old man! We were buddies, giving high-fives and cheering for each other.  You basically surf on your stomach on a Boogie board.  The guy at the top tells you what to do & the guy at the bottom shows you how to do tricks.  He was trying to get me to roll.  At first, I was like No.  Then I finally tried it.  I made it onto my back and that was as far as I made it.  Most other people came off the board and got shot up to the top of the hill and all was good.  Not me!  I was on my back, stuck in the current at the bottom of the hill, with arms & legs probably flailing!  They had to shut the water off - which was completely mortifying, even if it did save my life!  I never did ingest any water or panic, tho.  Probably flashed the kid at the bottom of the hill, since the top of my bathing suit was in disarray.  

The second near-death experience was on what everyone was calling the toilet bowl.  You went down the tube / slide into this giant bowl.  The current of the water pushed you around in the bowl several times, before you dropped like 6 feet into the pool.  I ended up dropping in head first and got disoriented which way was up.  I finally surfaced and was laughing so hard, the lifeguard had to grab my hand and pull me to the stairs!  The second time I went on it, I tried to twist my body so I'd drop feet first, but it didn't work well. 

I'm actually exaggerating - we didn't actually almost die.  But it makes for a good story!  

Anyhooooo, so we were there for Nationals - the Stanley Cup playoffs of dance, if you will. 

Wednesday was a full day of solos.  Angel didn't dance, but we were there to cheer on the girls who did. 

Thursday were the small groups.

They do adjudication awards first - each dance is given either silver / high silver / gold / high gold / platinum based on points.  Then 1st / 2/nd / 3rd, etc places based on competitive level & age group based on the average age of all the dancers.  Whew!  

There was some seriously tough competition and some really awesome dances!

Hey Ya (senior tap)
Platinum / 2nd place

Lose Control (teen hiphop)
Platinum / 3rd place

Womanizer (teen jazz)
Platinum / 9th place

Friday was the duo/trios and large groups.

Heart Cry (senior tap)
High Gold / didn't place

Dirty Pop (teen tap)
Platinum / didn't place

My Team (junior hiphop)
Platinum / 2nd place
This dance hasn't placed at any other competition.  
Not only did they get second, they were moved up into the highest comp level!!  

All of the 1st and 2nd place finishers went on to re-compete Saturday during the Elite Showcase.  This was for the Best of the Best.   Again, there was a trophy for each level & age group, but just for the top scorer.  Huge trophies - like 4 feet tall!  None of our dances placed in the Elite Showcase, but we did have a good showing there!  

So overall - it was a very good week, considering it was the first time they'd attempted Nationals! 

I only have 2 complaints....first of all - they need a better sound system and / or operator.  I know several of our dances had the first 1 or 2 8-counts cut off and Angel told me she was talking to a girl from another studio who said it happened to them, too.  Screws up the entire dance!  And #2 - in the program I think in addition to listing the studios & dancers - they need to include their hometown.  I think it would be cool to see where all these studios come from!  

So now that you've learned more than you've ever cared to know about a dance competition...have a great night!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Maybe treasures

Nothing exciting much going on today.  I stopped at a local consignment store this morning and picked up one of their $7 bags of randomness that they offer.  They're sealed Ziploc bags, so you're  never really sure what you're gonna get. 

 This bracelet is what caught my attention in the store.  It barely fit around my wrist, so here you see it on Miss Angela's wrist, where it still lingers.  I may have lost it forever. 

I haven't seen these since ~ I ~ was little!

Surprise!  A bunch of loose beads that rolled all over the table when I dumped the bag. 
I like the coral ones.  

Some of the items had tags on them, so I assume someone tried to sell them separately.  This 3 foot + string of wood beads was marked $6. 

Pretty sure this is a wine glass charm.  I'll keep it for when I hang out with my sisters!

Too bad I don't wear gold often, since I sort of like these leaf earrings (marked $8).  I am keeping them for the occasional times I do wear this tan skirt I have. 

These are just so hideous, I think I would wear them!!  They're fun-ugly!

These ginormous glass earrings were marked $12.  They were a lot lighter than I expected them to be.  But I'm not keeping them. 

Dainty-looking gold hearts. Not keeping, either. 

These I will wear.  They're pretty heavy for studs, I wonder if they're hematite? 
One pair for sure is. 

I'm not sure about the ones on the left, but the ones on the right I will wear.

This gem was marked $8 also.  I do believe it is the ugliest thing I have ever seen!   GONE!

This buckle is sort of neat, but it's broken.  It could probably be made into something else. But I'm not worried about it.  Gone!

There were also a bunch of earring backings, some smaller earrings that I won't wear that I'll re-donate and some pin backings - which always come in handy for she who loses them off her dance pins (cough, cough, Angela, cough) so we'll keep those

And 2 rings.  The floral looking one is pretty neat.  It fits my pinky finger nicely. I like it but don't know if I'd actually wear it.  I don't think to put any others on.  You can see my US Navy ring on my middle finger and of course I wear my wedding rings on the other hand...that's usually it!  

And lastly, the rest of the junk.  Un-matched earrings, a tie tack with a monogrammed "M", a couple pins and a random safety pin.  Nothing valuable or useful so I'll probably toss this pile. 

When I become independently wealthy and get a bigger house (or tear down & rebuild on this lot) than our current 849 sq. feet., I'm totally going to get at least our bedroom set from this place.  They had this gorgeous 4 poster bed frame with matching armoire, dressing table and dresser made out of some sort of pretty striped wood.   I really like antiques!  They have such character and are usually made so much sturdier than what you'd find nowadays.   Heehee, they also had a huge wooden wardrobe that had a sign on it that said "enter here to Narnia"!  

Just a couple more days til we leave for Sandusky!  I haven't even started to pack for us yet.  Her costumes are together - she just needs to make sure she has bra / tights / socks and miscellaneous items like that.  I already have the map printed out and I'm taking the car in for an oil change tomorrow.  This will be the first time my car has ever been outside of Michigan and I've had it for over 12 years!  I also got us day passes for the water park at Kalahari since we're didn't get a room there.  $60 each! This place better be freakin' amazing!  I know Angel will get her money's worth but I fully expect a shirtless cabana boy to follow me around and hold my beverage for me! 

The next big excitement (after Nationals) is that Miss Angela is FINALLY going to be taking driver's training!  She was eligible at 14 years, 8 months but for the past 2 summers she's been at summer school.  I told her well before school got out this year that if she manages not to have summer school, I'll let her take it.  So I'm holding up my end of the bargain, but she has to earn the $$ for it.  Segment 1 (24 classroom hours, 4 observation hours in a car and 6 driving with an instructor) is $219 so she's gonna do some work around this place!  She mowed the lawn today, so that's a start.  

I've let her drive every time we go up to Laurie's house since she's in the middle of farm country.  So far she seems to err on the side of slow, which is OK, except for the one time I let her drive from the store and it required a left turn at a light.  The light was green and no one was coming so I told her it was OK to go.  I neglected to remind her to slow down a bit for turns, so she took it at 50 mph !!  She gave me a heart attack, but she managed to keep the car on the road and not end up in the ditch or the corn field!!!  Sheesh!  I told her she wasn't on the Top Gear track, so she doesn't need to take corners that fast! 

Good times, good times. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Finally some info!!

Yesterday we got info about Nationals!!  FINALLY!  I'm feeling a lot better and a whole lot less stressed now that I saw the itinerary. 

Wednesday is all of the solos, so she won't be competing.  Thursday are the small groups - so she'll have 3 dances.  Friday are the duet/trios and large groups - her other 3.  Saturday is a thing called the "Grand Showcase" and the opening number her jazz group was invited to perform in is at the beginning of that.  

So this sounds like a easy couple days so far.  Nope.  They also offer classes in the mornings sort of like the convention they go to each November.  It's an opportunity for them to dance with other choreographers and learn new techniques, so she'll have some ballet, jazz, tap & contemporary classes.  And of course....rehearsals!  Each evening after competitions and Saturday morning they have at least 2 hours to work on that opening number. 

Randy made our hotel reservations so we check in Tuesday and check out Sunday - perfect!   We'll probably leave somewhat early Tuesday, since it's a 3-ish hour drive and that afternoon will be her best chance to hit to water park at Kalahari.  We have 2 pools at our hotel, but that's not the same.  

I'm looking forward to checking out an awesome old cemetery that's down the road, too.  


I can't believe I didn't have any wildly patriotic post on the 4th!  OMG.  I need to start planning ahead better!  

Miss Angela went up north Thursday morning with my sister Linda to their place on a lake.  Randy and I cheated and went out for BBQ instead of grilling ourselves.  OMG - the chicken & waffles were incredible!

Friday we went and did radio communications at the parade in Clawson - my corner just happens to be the one that my family has always sat at, heehee!  Randy is always in staging at the beginning, so I get to hear all the stuff going on down there.  We didn't go to the carnival at the park or stay for fireworks or anything.  We visited with some people, hung out at Mom's for a while then went home and took naps! 

Laurie & I took this selfie to send to Angel & Linda to show what they were missing. 

Saturday I went out to Laurie's to go riding with her riding club.  2 ladies trailered their horses over to her house and we rode for about 3 hours around Dryden.  It was really nice.  Captain is the old man of the group (22 years old) so he was expected to be the good example for the 3 younger horses.  The only thing that bothered him were some scary mattresses on the side of the road.  I let him stop and look, assuring him that they may look like a crime scene, but really wouldn't hurt him. 
 This is as close to Heaven as one can get!

One of the other ladies noticed this ring around the sun, so we took pics.  later on I saw a post on the Michigan Weather Watchers FB page that it was "ice crystals within Cirrostratus Clouds being reflected off the sun in the atmosphere". Very awesome!

When we got back, I took Princess for a walk down the road.  She has medical issues and Laurie didn't know if she could handle a long ride.  We had more horses than people anyway, so she stayed home with the dogs.  This gave her a chance to get out and do something different instead of seeing her stall or the same ol' pasture.   She was not impressed by the scarecrow!

Sunday we didn't do a whole lot.  Angel started texting me Thursday saying she was already sore from tubing on the lake.  Friday came the ones about being sunburnt.  Saturday she asked if she really had to go to dance on Monday!  She had a rough weekend!  Once she got home Sunday, she rubbed down with aloe and took some aspirin and we barely saw her for dinner.   Then Monday bright & early she had a doctor's appointment (sounds funny hearing it called a well-child check for a 16 year old!!)  and she got 2 shots to make her hurt even worse.  But while I was at work, she sent me these....

so she was plenty able to make it to dance Monday night!  At least now she's not moaning & groaning when she tries to stand up. 

So that's all the excitement here.  I follow a couple different home-haunter / Halloween-type FB pages and someone wanted everyone to post their FB links for displays / haunted houses, etc.  I now have a bunch of new followers on my Maple Grove Cemetery page - yay!  I think that's a big deal since making a page for my blog wasn't as easy as I expected it to be.  

Have a great night!  I'm expecting the next couple days at work to be insane since I want to have as much done as possible before I leave for 4 days.  Yay me!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

8 years and counting!

Today is mine & Randy's anniversary!  

It just seems like yesterday that we stood in that cute old church and said our vows in front of God, family & friends!

My brother thought it would be hilarious to handcuff us together once we got to the reception.  
This is how we went around and greeted everyone!

Randy made a speech to Angel promising to be a good Daddy to her and gave her a beautiful necklace with a heart & "Love" on it. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of the whole day! 

Ha actually got me flowers!!!

And the traditional 8th anniversary gifts are bronze or pottery, so he got me this stone hedgehog that still cracks me up when I look at it!

And he got me (per request) an Amazon gift card so I could load up my Kindle for next week and I got him some nice shirts since I'm tired of seeing him wearing the same ones all the time!

It was a lovely day!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday - 4th of July

I pretty much covered this on yesterday's post!  But I'll do it again since it's fun!

Friend Makin’ Mondays

If you’ve taken part in Friend Makin’ Mondays before then you are familiar with 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 here 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 read and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Welcome to another edition of Friend Makin’ Mondays. Hope you had a fun and safe 4th July weekend. I thought I would focus on 4th July and Red, White and Blue for this week’s questions.

1. Did you grill food this weekend? If so what?  We sort of cheated and went to a BBQ place on Thursday, had leftovers Friday, grilled brats on Saturday and grills ribs on Sunday.  

2. Did you go to a parade?  Yes.  The town I grew up in (where Mom still lives) puts on a huge parade and we go it every year.  The hubby & I both do radio communications for it.  It seems like work, but all I do is call when when the first and the last of the "Freedom Mile" runners pass my corner, then when the American Legion passes with the flag and random other things.  The people in staging want to make sure there isn't any major delays in the entrants. I also get to hear when the flyover happens - altho gliders aren't as exciting as seeing and hearing real military planes.  Most people miss it since gliders aren't any louder than a lawnmower!

3. Fireworks? Did you go to a display or have your own fireworks?  I like to watch them, but we don't go out of our way to find displays to watch.

4. Did you have a special 4th July outfit?  Not really.  I did give myself a special patriotic pedicure and my sister & I wore funky headbands.  I also wore red hoop earrings (I have 3 holes in each ear), with Michigan earrings on one side (the UP & lower are carved out of Petoskey stone) and blue and diamondish studs on the other. 

5. Who did you spend 4th July with?  the hubby, Mom & my brother & my sister.

6. Did you stay home for the holiday weekend or did you go away?  We stayed home for the most part.

7.What is your favorite part of 4th July holiday?  I like the parade and the 3 day weekend!  I really enjoy seeing people show their patriotism and all the flags and more days should be like that!

8. Which holiday are you most looking forward to next?  Halloween, of course!

Don’t forget to answer the questions on your blog and come back here and post a link to your post.

Have a great day

Sarah xxx

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy End-Of-A-Long Weekend!

Sheesh, I didn't even write any patriotic, flag-waving posts this year!  And we were home, too.  Miss Angela left Thursday morning to go up to the lake with my sister while Randy & I were at work.

So Randy & I had a date night - let my just say ahead of time.....this was the WORST weekend for any sort of reasonable eating plans EVAH !!!  I did cruise into Weight Watchers to hop on the scale (stayed the same - wooohoo!) and then left right away.  I have a feeling that the meetings were pretty scarce Thursday!  Then we went to dinner at Bad Brad's BBQ.  This first step of my downfall.

OMG - chicken & waffles as our appetizer.  It was phenomenal !!!!
I ordered the 2 meat dinner, so smoked turkey & chopped brisket with mashed sweet taters & cucumber / onion salad.  The brisket & most of the salad went home with me.

Friday was the 4th - Randy & I were doing radio communications for the parade people again.  He was at the staging area, but my spot was along the parade route, happily coinciding with the corner my family has always sat at!

Some of the politicians were smart enough to hand out Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches and dog biscuits (we had Jack & Morgan with us) - too bad neither of us live in your county, so don't expect our votes, but thanks anyway!!!

Food on Friday was Tim Horton's for breakfast, an ice cream cone from the neighbor who sets up a machine in his driveway every year, lunch at a local diner and leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Saturday I went out to Laurie's to join her & her riding group on a ride around her area.  Sherry & Lucy trailered their horses to Laurie's house and we went from there.  It was a nice day for the 2 1/2 hour ride! Captain is a good old man (he's 22, a senior citizen for sure!) - he was the good example for the younger horses.  Nothing really bothers him.  The only thing that really caught his attention and made him stop was a set of old mattresses by the road.  I let him stop and look, assuring him that they may look like a crime scene, they weren't going to hurt him!  He didn't like my sneezing, either.  I think in my old age I'm becoming allergic to horse dander.  Damn!

I borrowed Sherry's extra helmet since Laurie's extra is more for the girls - so too small for my melon.  But you have to admit - it's fabulous!!   Not having a visor still gave me a headache from the sun, tho.

We did learn to start carrying some cash on these rides.  We passed 2 little girls who had a lemonade stand on the side of the road.  That sounded SO good and no one had any money!  Booo!

Laurie has 3 horses and the 3rd, Princess, is even older than Captain and has some medical issues.  So when we got back I took her for a walk down the road so she could see and do something more interesting than just being in her stall or the pasture.  She was not impressed with the scarecrow.

So, food for Saturday was McDonald's for breakfast and nothing really else til dinner.  Randy & I went and picked up some brats from the grocery store.  2 brats, baked beans and potato chips.  And I may have had a couple Chips Ahoy and Haagen Daas later on that evening.

We haven't done much today.  Scrambled eggs & bacon with toast this morning and Randy is just starting up the grill for some pork ribs.  I'm going to make some rice & heat up some corn (since I forgot to grab corn on the cob!).   He's out messing around in the garage and really?  What I have I done today?  Some laundry and hung jeans out to dry.  Read some blogs about people going to FitBloggin' (I'm thinking that would be awesome to attend!!) and not much else!

I can tell how badly I've eaten this weekend, since I feel so blah.  I knew I was eating bad & didn't do a damn thing to change it.

Tomorrow I'll be right back to tracking everything and making sure I'm getting all my fruit & veggies in, this is what I've been concentrating most on lately.  Trying to get back in the groove and back on track!

I have a BIG challenge coming up.  Miss Angela is going to a big National Dance Comp on the 15-19 in Ohio.  That means several days living in a hotel and I'll be at the mercy of hotel breakfasts & wherever we go for dinner.  I plan to take snacks and such.  And since they are planning on doing a convention type thing in the mornings and competing in the afternoons, I have no idea what we will do for lunch.  We don't even have a schedule yet.  Her small group jazz was invited to perform in the competition's opening number, but we've gotten no info on when they need to be there to learn the number, when they will be performing or even what they will be wearing!!  I hate not knowing basic info like that,  I understand they just closed registration on 6/25 but they should have had the opening number worked out already!  The Regional comp they qualified at was Mother's Day weekend, and the last of the Regional comps, so they've had time to figure that much out!!  Can you tell this is a peeve of mine?  Grr.

Anyhoooo, have a great week and I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow with FMM!