Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

We just got home from visiting the Mother-in-law Saturday night & I had to work today, so this is the first real chance I've had to sit down & post!
So obviously we're having a really wild & crazy New Year's Eve!  Randy is over lying on the bed, watching videos on his phone, Angel went to a party (with strict instructions to stay there for the night or call us if she had to come home!!) and I'm here on the computer.  

FYI, this is my 79th post of the year - so much for my 2018 word of the year "consistent".  
looney tunes eye roll GIF by Looney Tunes World of Mayhem
 Random shot of the gift I got for my boss at work.  She loved it!
We left Thursday the 20th for Arkansas.  Of course we made multiple stops at Chic-Fil-A while we were gone.  Randy & Angel are huge fans!
 A rest stop in Indiana had a working pay phone! 

So we got to Hot Springs Friday the 21st.  Normally we'd immediately go grocery shopping, since Mom apparently empties her cabinets before we get there.  But this time we got there, unloaded the car, had some dinner, then went up on West Mountain since it was supposed to be the clearest night of the whole trip. 
Saturday we went to Church - after Mom spent a good hour trying to justify her reasoning from leaving her Baptist church for the 7th Day Adventist.  Look, we don't care, as long as you're happy!  
It was a very nice church & service.  It's neat to experience other views - and it was very different from Catholic services!  We got to see 2 new members welcomed in and a baptism, too.  

Sunday we didn't do a whole lot, but after dinner, Angel & decided to go finish up some Christmas shopping!  We drove almost into Little Rock to Kohl's and hit a few other places.  Normally I'd think it was weird that stores were open so late, but it worked out to our benefit this time. 
 The MIL has this 1908 Sears catalog that was kind of fun to browse.
And the buggies were like $35-$55!
Santa visited our kitties!
Speaking of - he was good to us.  Randy got me a pair of hiking poles that'll be great for search & rescue stuff.  He also got me (by request) one of those Flawless facial hair removers that I used pretty much immediately.  Then a new makeup bag & brushes.  Assorted clothes & slippers.  He also got me & Angel both heated seat cushions for the cars.  Angel loves hers since she'd got leather seats.  
The day after Christmas, we went to "take the waters" as usual.  
I'll have to dedicate another post solely to it.
Another exciting field trip - Randy had to go to Lowe's to get some stuff for his honey-do list and I for LED spotlights for 50% off!  A couple days later we had to go back and I got 2 more blue ones & 2 green for 75% off!  They're destined to be in the Halloween display next year.
Angel broke 2 of her nails while we were there, so we used that as an excuse to get out of the house for a while.  The random place we chose to go to was a nail BAR!  I'm sure they didn't think she was old enough and didn't ask, but I'm sure if I'd gotten some work done, they would have offered complementary beverages!  They had a whole wall of wine, smaller bottles of rum, vodkas & 2 margarita machines!

Randy always feels bad that it's kind of boring for us when we go visiting (I go every other year at Christmas and on the off years, he goes at Thanksgiving) and it can be but I make sure to take stuff to do & look up places I want to explore while I'm there, and of course go to the bathhouse.  Then he can take care of his Mom's honey-do list and I can do my thing.  And since Angel was able to take off work, I had company!  
We left to come home Friday the 28th.  We had breakfast with Mom & his sister and left from the restaurant.  
Saturday night - not seen is cat #3 on the pillow behind my head.  
I think they missed us!

I thought this was a good tie-in to the Blended Blog's prompt for today.
So in a nutshell - every other Christmas we spend at the MIL's in Arkansas. On the years we're home, we all gather Christmas Eve at one of my sister's houses - I wish my house was bigger so we can have people over!  Then every year since 2009 when Dad passed away, we've gone to Frankenmuth to have dinner at Zehnder's on Christmas Day.  Even tho it's one of the few days that Bronner's (the Christmas Wonderland - an awesome year round store) is closed, they keep the parking lot all decorated & lit up and it's still pretty magical to drive around and look at the lights there.  

New Year's is always pretty low-key.  Randy & I stay at home and flip between watching the celebrations in NYC and Toronto (the benefits of being so close to Canada, we can pick up the CBC on regular TV).  

Have a Safe & Happy New Year's celebration!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

From all of us here at the Love Shaque....
Have a safe & wonderful holiday season!

I’m a bit slacking on the posting right now - 
I’m sans computer & using my phone, which works in a pinch but isn’t as convenient as a PC!
Seen at Kroger in Hot Springs, AR


The Sailor’s Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, they lived in a crowd,
a berthing compartment,
with warriors so loud.
I entered their dwelling with presents to give,
trying to decipher in which rack each man lived.
Looking about, a sad sight I did see.
No tinsel displayed,
No presents,
No tree.
No stockings were hanging,
only boots on the floor.
Just pictures of loved one's inside locker doors.
I continued on slowly, wondering what else I would find,
a sobering thought, trickled into my mind.
This place, it was special, haze grey and dreary.
The home of a sailor, of that I could see clearly.
They stirred in their sleeping, silent, alone.
Each in his bunk, dreaming of home.
Their faces seemed pensive, even gentle I surmised.
All slumbered lightly, should trouble arise.
Eager and ready, knowing their task, every man to a tee volunteered when he was asked.
Defending their country so others stayed free,
it was a willing arrangement all would agree.
Of the families I'd visited already this night,
so much it was owed to these in the fight.
Soon in the morning children would play,
many to celebrate a new Christmas day.
They all enjoy freedom each month of the year,
because of the willing, like those lying here.
I think of the others each laying alone,
a cold Christmas Eve, on a vessel far from home.
The thought of it all brought tears to my eyes.
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
A young man awakens, I hear his rough voice. "Santa don't cry, for this is my choice. Defending my country, it's peace, freedoms voice"
Then he rolled over, drifted back into sleep,
that's when I faltered, I started to weep.
I kept watch for hours standing silent and still, both of us shivered from winters cold chill.
My heart it was heavy,
I wanted to stay, so much to finish before break of day.
I think of them oft in the quiet of night, these guardians of honor so willing to fight.
Before I departed, with a voice soft and pure, he whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas.
All is secure..."


Thursday, December 20, 2018


Woohoo!  So I joined up in a holiday mug swap with San over at TheInBetweenIsMine for my first time this year.  I got my mug last week but today was the reveal day!

A lot of thanks to Tanja from EverdayInOC for my awesome Beagle mug!!  
I love the unusual shape.
And the artwork is just adorable!
Jack approves! 
And she quite brilliantly packed the box with little things to help protect the mug..
I will be fighting the Spawn off these, since she loves them, too
 Mmmmm holiday blend coffee!  

Vielen Dank!!

 I can't wait to check out the hashtag and see what everyone else got!


Monday, December 3, 2018

Holiday Edition of TBB asks....

Woohoo, I finally caught this linkup at The Blended Blog on the actual day it came out!  The last couple months I've totally missed it by a week or more.  Then it just would have been awkward, so I didn't join in. 
1.  Candy Canes - yes or no?  Meh.  I never buy the regular flavors, so I usually have Chocolate Mint ones or something hanging on my tree.  I might have one or two over the season, but don't go crazy with them. 

2.  Christmas morning - early riser or sleep in?  I'm usually up early anyway.  We'll be at the MIL's house this year and she's up insanely early (like 4am!) but I'm not gonna be up *that* early!

3.  Did you shop on Black Friday?  I guess I have to say yes, since I had to stop at Target on my way home from work and get some dog food.  I was scared to go in there, but it wasn't too bad.  I walked right up to a register. 

4.  Christmas tree up in November?  HA!  Nope.  I actually brought the box in from the garage yesterday, so at last it's IN the house!  We just got a new tree last year & it's pretty disappointing compared to our old tree that fell victim to age & cat.  The Girl & I would always take a whole evening to put the old tree together and doing the lights & garland with Christmas movies on the TV.  This one takes about 2 minutes to put together.  And it's a lot smaller than the old one so not as many ornaments fit on it, either.   Which is why last year we had a black Santa hat as the topper that said Bah Humbug on it.  That started out as a joke, but it stayed. 

5.  Do you get holiday ideas from Pinterest.  No

6.  Holiday Glam or Ugly Sweater?  For my work party, it's bordering on Glam - or at least as close as I get to to Glam anyway.  And we've been asking about the dress code for the SARs team party and still haven't gotten an answer, so I'm leaning toward ugly sweater for that one, just because.   I threatened to go in sweat pants & fuzzy slippers and nobody said no....

7.  Stocking Stuffers - wrapped or unwrapped?  I had to think about this one.  I guess both.  When I plan ahead, they're wrapped, but last minute things are just tossed in. 

8.  Traditional or Modern Christmas songs?  Modern, I guess they'd be considered.  One of my favorites is Montgomery Gentry's version of Merry Christmas from the Family and Sugarland's Nuttin' for Christmas.  I also LOVE the entire Twisted Christmas album from Twisted Sister.  Imagine heavy metal O Come All Ye Faithful - it's actually awesome!

9.  Fruitcake - yes or no?  Actually, I've never tried it, so I don't really know.  But it looks pretty disgusting so probably no. 

10.  Is my Christmas shopping finished?  HA!  No.  I've barely started.  I've gotten a few things for the Secret Santa I'm in and also for the mug exchange.  As for the family?  I have ideas, but very little purchased yet.  

11.  Is there snow in December where I live?  Yes.  I'm in SE Michigan.  I've gotten gotten a dusting twice so far - but nothing that's sticking around yet. 

12.   Classic show - Charlie Brown or Rudolph?  Rudolph!  And we watch it on DVD so we don't have to deal with annoying commercials. 


Friday, November 23, 2018

What's up Weekend? Thanksgiving edition

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know it's technically the first day of the Christmas music season, but I'm not ready for that business yet. 

I'm linking up with the lovely ladies LindsayBeth & Charlotte at the Peaceful Posse. Here we share posts of things that we're grateful for / positive things, etc.  
My sister adopting her new dog, Ranger.
She just brought him home today - can't wait to meet him again (I went with her to the rescue last weekend and got to meet him then.  But he had to finish some meds before he could go to his forever home.)
Randy's been gone since last Friday and she's missing her favorite person.  I'm her second choice for pettings in the middle of the night.  She's also my #1 shower buddy.  She insists on being in the bathroom when I shower. 
 Saw both of these at Target.  A trophy for Adulting and 2 different kinds of Life cereal!
  Jack is feeling much better.  I had to take him to the vet because his feet were all swollen.  He's now on 2 different kinds of heart meds & temporarily on water pills to help the swelling go down.  The downside of this, is I haven't gotten more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time since he started these!  I've been setting an alarm to take him outside at night so I don't have to clean up any accidents.   Rusty has been a pain in the butt.  He's really staying close to Jack & gets in the way when I'm trying to give him his meds or put on his coat to go outside (he's really feeling the cold more this winter). 
 Cool frost pattern on the garage.
 Daisy peeking over the top of my monitor. 
 Maddie telling me she's more interesting than watching the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade. 
 The look Daisy gives me when I mess with her thru the window.  I don't know if she doesn't realize it's me or what, but she's funny!  She's so expressive with her eyes & ears. 
 The full moon thru the hazy clouds was so pretty out there at 0300 this morning!

So I was joking around when I said I would probably come down with whatever plague that Randy & Angel has had, once he left to go to his annual Arkansas trip.  Sure enough!  He left Friday, I woke up Saturday with a sore throat.  Sunday I was running a fever, but I still went to Laurie's.  I ended up leaving work at 10:30am Monday & staying home Tuesday.  I think the dispatcher I talked to when I called in Tuesday was grateful I was staying home, since I sounded pretty similar to Louis Armstrong.   Mom had a procedure done at the hospital Wednesday & came home Thursday morning.  She said she didn't want me to come see her there and as a joke, brought me masks from the hospital to wear for Thanksgiving!  I tried to stay away from my nephew's 2 month old baby, too.  Let me tell you how tough that was!!  I'm feeling much better now.  I'm at about 92% normal.

Thanksgiving was nice.  We usually go to Laurie's since she's got the biggest house.  We'd go out there Wednesday night & stay until Sunday, but since we wanted to make things easy for Mom....we all brought food to Mom's house!  That way she could rest comfortably when she wanted.   Instead of a whole turkey, we had a turkey roast, which was essentially only the breast & it was really juicy & flavorful.  Then balsamic roasted brussells sprouts, cheesy mashed potatoes, regular mashed taters, salad, rolls & 3 types of pie!

  I had to brave Target today to get some canned dog food for Mr. Spoiled Jack.  I was scared, I've never been anywhere on Black Friday.  But it wasn't too bad!  I went in & grabbed what I needed & they actually had enough registers open that I was directed to one right as the previous customer walked away.  Win!

 I joined in a Mug Swap with Sandra at the In Between is mine.  This should be fun!  

So Randy comes back home Tuesday.  I was really planning on having the house nice & clean and the Christmas tree set up.  I guess I'll have to see what I do this weekend, since I got ZERO done this week.  All I've wanted to do was sleep, so it's still a mess!  It's been too cold to get in the garage anyway.  It's supposed to be 45° tomorrow (check that out!  I learned how to make the degree symbol!) so I'll get the blowmolds out for the front yard.  My sister mentioned going horseback riding this weekend, I haven't heard anything yet so I assume that'll happen Sunday.   Otay!  

I feel eyes looking at me, I guess it's time to take Jack outside again!  


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Veterans Day

To all of those who served before me, with me and after me.... THANK YOU!

Here's a little "I Love Me" memory lane trip.....
March - May 1992

A green 18 year old kid
May - September 1992
Long enough to realize that electronics is not for me!

USS Canopus AS34
September 1992 - December 1994
USS Canopus Decommissioning Crew
USS Abraham Lincoln CVN72
December 1994 - April 1997
Re-enlistment happened between the rudders of the Lincoln
March 1996
Tiger Cruise 1995 (with Mom)
October 1995
F-14 Tomcat - only the coolest plane ever flown!
Naval Station Everett, Washington
April 1997 - Mar 2000
My ribbons & Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist wings
on my VFW cover.