Sunday, August 25, 2019

What Up, Weekend 8/25 edition

Random flower that's blooming in my flowerbed.  
I did plant this, I just don't remember what it's called!
It's purty!
I am linking up with the lovely ladies Lindsay, Beth & Charlotte at the Peaceful Posse. There's too much crap & negativity in the world, so these are all positive / happy / grateful posts in this linkup.

I really didn't think I'd get a chance to sit down & write again because I'm on vacation and Randy & I are leaving for a road trip tomorrow!   Of course someone will be home and various family members popping in & out and we've called the local PD to drive by a bit more to keep an eye on things. 

I'm pretty excited that we're going to be visiting New England for the first time!  Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts & Connecticut!  So this is your official heads up for some travel posts in the very near future.   I'll be posting on Instagram, too.
Oh, and we're taking Chuck the Skeleton - LOL!

The Lapeer Days Parade & Imlay City Safety Days event were a lot of fun last Saturday - for the 3 of us who participated.  There were 6 at yet another tracker training (I get the impression that those of us who didn't go to this one thought it was completely unnecessary) and the few left had work or whatever. 
Lt cussed at us for not getting *his* truck washed before the parade.  It didn't look too bad!
I was bummed they didn't have the ATV in the trailer.  I wanted to drive it in the parade!
I look like a goob from this angle - I promise my ballcap wasn't sitting that far up on my forehead!
K-9 Daisy who is on the verge of being our first certified search dog!
So the parade ended up being a lot shorter than we expected and we had a moment of panic that they wouldn't be able to get me to my car, since I parked (not thinking!) right along the road where the parade was staged.  And since we were toward the front, we had no idea now much parade was behind us!  But by the time we stopped & fueled up the truck and wandered around Tractor Supply, we were able to get back to my car and head onto our next event.
We made a stop by Bill's house to get his puppy that's currently in training to be a search dog. 
 We were the first to arrive at the fairgrounds for Safety Days.  Basically there were PD & FD from multiple area cities, the Air Force, Secret Service, Sheriff's Explorers (like ROTC), the DNR, State Police, EMS, and various other organizations. 
We parked right by the front entrance so we could see all the vehicles pulling in. 
 Big Betty - the Lapeer County Special Response Team Armored Vehicle 
How freaking cool is that???
 Novi (which is NOT nearby!) sent their Breast Cancer Awareness patrol car and a fire truck. 
 Chillin' in the trailer.
 Of course we had to go around and check out the other displays!
  Shawna trying out for the new high-speed aerial search team - LOL!
Imlay City Police Chief Pike.  He was a super nice guy & stopped over to chat when he saw my "US Navy Veteran" sticker on the back of my car.  He's a Navy Vet, too!  
He told us that he was disappointed in the number of agencies that said they were going to show up, but didn't.  Like 4 other branches of the military to name a few.  

At least a decent number of people come thru.  He also had chosen the same weekend as Lapeer Days and the Armada Fair, which are both big events and close by.  So next year he said he was going to shoot for later in September.  Maybe then it won't be too hot for the horses to be standing out there without any shelter.  I was glad we didn't bring them this time.  Chief said horses & motorcycles are always a big draw for the crowds.  

What we learned from our first time being at an event like this?  Have something for the people!  All the other vendors had pens / stickers / keychains, etc  The State Troopers had trading cards with all of their K9s on them!  We didn't even have business cards, applications or info about the team to hand out!  So Kelly and I are going to work on that. 

Today was the day the Yankee Candle Halloween collection came out!  
I went to look at the website last night to double check when the mall opened so we could be there right as it opened and then get about our day.... but the store had closed?!?!!  We had just been at the mall like 3 weeks ago and it was open then!   And with the crappy construction around here?  I wasn't driving to any of the stores that were left.  So I shopped online this morning.  I wasn't too impressed with the Boney Bunch this year, but I did find a few things I liked.  So it wasn't a big deal to not shop in person. 
Tealights go behind each eye!  
Not sure why it's called a Bejewelled Skull, tho.  I see no bejewel-ness. 
OMG, how cute are these guys???
They also came in a metal "tree".  I love their faces!
Rusty helped me clean out my purse. 

Welp, since I have done minimal packing, I should get my carcass to bed so I can be up early.  Our goal is to be on the road by 10am.  Let's see how that works out! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Catching up!

Happy Hump Day!

I have a slight lull in life's action so I'm getting caught up on my blogging.

Coffee Wednesday, why not?
So I did do the parking lot patrol thing at the Eastern Michigan State Fair.  It was pretty uneventful, thankfully.  All the action must have happened before we got there, since as we were saddling up, we heard a LOT of sirens.  One of the other team members is an EMT and she said they smoothed the night for us - LOL! 
We got permission to park our trailers at a banquet hall right next to the fairgrounds so about halfway thru the night, Laurie & I took the horses back to the trailer, loosened their saddles for a bit and took a short break.  6+ hours in the saddle is killer! 
Our only bit of excitement (aka injury, of course!) happened before we even left Laurie's house.  Kisses usually loads into the trailer with no problem, but this time she caught me off guard when she got halfway in, then changed her mind.  She yanked the leadrope thru my hand and I got a doozy of a ropeburn across the palm of my hand and on the side of 2 fingers.  Burn is an appropriate name for such a thing.  It felt like it was on fire for about an hour.  The blisters were fun, too.

People were concerned about us being there this time.  Last year, we wore our retina-burning orange, long-sleeved, button-down dress shirts (and died from the heat) and nobody thought twice about us being there, because while we looked official, the patches on our sleeves were small enough people couldn't really read who we were with.  This time we wore our bright orange t-shirts that scream "search & rescue" across our backs and we got stopped a lot, asking if everything was OK, was someone missing?  Nope.  Just helping out the sheriff's department!
We did actually help a couple people, tho.  Some guy came and got us, they'd found a lost little girl, who was crying for her dad.  Laurie took her into the fair office and while she was in there, the dad showed up asking if we'd seen a little girl.  Yup - she's in the office!   And then toward the end of the night, a lady came out of the fair, wearing a baby and had older kids in each hand and asked if we'd walk with her out to her car, since she noticed there weren't any lights in the lot.  Of course!  The older kids were entertained with the horses following them. 
Love to see the expressions on the kids (and some adults!) when they petted the horses!

The next day, my niece Catie & her fiance had a BBQ.  So we ate some food & did some swimming & played some cornhole.  It was nice.  There were storms in the area, but they went all around us!  I never did see the pictures from that. I'll have to text Catie tomorrow. 

All the rest of that week was insane trying to get the house presentable for the grandbaby's gender reveal party.  Of course I had navigation training on Thursday so Wednesday & Friday & Saturday morning (because I procrastinate) were insane.  But I did it.  And everyone had a good time.

Navigation training was interesting.  Most of the team already took the 6 day-long SARTECH course and learned all this, but there's a couple of us going next month.  One of the guys already taught me how to use a compass and how to figure out headings, but this was reading a map / figuring distance & azimuth.  Then we had homework!  We got a map and had a variety of stuff to do on it.  We got a couple extra days since those of us who haven't taken the course yet didn't have grid readers / rulers / etc.   So we had to order them and of course Amazon did NOT have what I needed for next day shipping.  Grr.  But I got it done, with the help of only one cat.

Last week was somewhat quiet - work & the usual.  We were supposed to have training with the horses Saturday morning.  Then it got changed to Saturday afternoon.  Then it got cancelled since only 4 of us committed.  So Laurie & I met up with one of her friends and we all went riding anyway!  Sherry has some fitness app on her phone and could change the settings to horseback riding, so we learned we took a 7.5 mile ride!  And I got up next to Laurie & took a picture of the horses and posted it on our team group chat saying "look what you all missed!"  It was a beautiful day to be out riding. 

We've never seen an entire field of sunflowers before!
I thought this barn & freshly mowed field looked so pretty!

Sunday morning, Mom came to my house and rode with Randy & I to Laurie's to get her - then we went up into the Thumb to the Cheeseburger Festival in Caseville!  It's a 10 day "tribute to tropical paradise, cheeseburgers and Jimmy Buffett" and Laurie happens to have a friend who keeps a camper at the county park right on Lake Huron in Caseville so we popped in to say hi for a minute, then went to the festival.  It was a hoot! 

 We tried a total of 4 different kinds of burgers.  I thought the "Cristo" (the 2017 winner of the cheeseburger competition) made with french toast for the bun, swiss cheese, Canadian bacon on the burger patty, sprinkled with powdered sugar & served with maple syrup was phenomenal! 
Randy & Laurie went for the 2019 winner made with pulled pork, bbq sauce & cheese on an onion roll.  Mom isn't a fan of cheese, so she just got a plain burger.  Later on, Randy & I split the offering from the 2018 winner, made with buttery / parmesan garlic bread for the bun, swiss & cheddar cheese & bacon.  It was served in wedges, since the patty was cooked in a pie tin - so 8? inches across.  It would have been better if the garlic bread had been toasted, tho.

We stopped at an ice cream parlor before we left & Randy got this adorable cupcake!  The 'patty' is a brownie & the 'catsup' & 'mustard' are frosting. 

Then we went back to Vicki's trailer and got changed & went to the beach!  We sat & visited for a while, then went swimming.  Or really floating, since they had this giant mat thing made out of pool-noodle material and it was anchored out about waist deep directly out from where they were sitting.  
Yes, I took Chuck with me.  He had a good time!

Moving on!
Monday we had dinner at the restaurant where Angel works and commented about some clouds when we came out.  It was dumping down rain at our house!  We got close to 2 inches within 90 minutes and the rest overnight.  2.36 inches total!  Randy & I sat in the car, in the driveway for a good half hour waiting for it to slow down enough for us to make a run for it. 

Finally, last night, Angel & I went to the Armada Fair and watched the monster trucks!  There were 5 monster trucks and 5 or 6 mug bog trucks and one little guy that was just too adorable.  
The driver was 4 years old and tried to go over an "obstacle", too!  
These are the 2 trucks we'd heard of - Brutus & Avenger.  I've been a fan of Avenger for a long time and it was really cool to be able to walk right up to Jim Koehler without waiting in lines of people and get a pic with him!  His son Chris drives Brutus. 
After going to the Silverdome and then Ford Field to see Monster jam for so many years, we thought this announcer was probably someone they just grabbed as he was walking by since he was bad.  And why....once they demolished 2 RVs, would you hold up the show to "clean up the track"???  They pushed all the debris over to the side where nobody could drive thru it anymore because it was up against the fence by the stands!  What fun is that??  Sheesh.  

Anyhooooo.  This Saturday is the Lapeer Days Parade & Imlay City Safety Day, so lots of PR time for the SAR team!  And only a handful of us will be there, since back in May when a lot of us took the tracker course, they got excited about inviting Fernando back for another, more advanced, tracking course and forgot to check the calendar when they set it up.  So we'll be spread out a bit.   Lt wanted a couple horses there (looking pointedly at me & Laurie) but she has to work Saturday night and she's never let me drive the truck (used to belong to Dad, who passed away almost 10 years ago) and I've never pulled a trailer anyway.  So he'll have to be happy with me alone.

  It's getting late & mornings come early, so signing off!

This is the sunset from the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Taco Bout A Baby......!!!

Friday was Miss Angela's ultrasound to find out if we were having a grandson or granddaughter!

I got to find out, but Angel looked away when the tech got "near the gender". 










boy GIF
excited dance GIF
There's no doubt it's a boy, since he was doing a lot of rolling around and the tech got a nice clear shot of his boy parts.  She looked over to see if I was looking, pointed at them and mouthed "boy" at me.   Then she typed it across the screen, printed it out and put it in a sealed envelope.   
OK, this one is a bit creepy, since he was looking right at the screen 
(his Owens was showing already - we all love to be on camera!)
That's the lens of his eye showing and I hope he doesn't have a pig nose!. 

Angel got a ton of pictures.  They were interviewing a possible new tech, so she was in there at first so they could see how she interacted with patients and did the first part of the ultrasound.  Since we were cool (once we found out why!) with being over 30 minutes late being called back for the appointment, and then being a guinea pig for the interview, they printed out a lot more pictures.
Rusty sadly was on team girl.  
When people arrived to the party, they put their name under which team they were on.
He also tried to help me fill the pinata!  
Sorry dude, I planned on using blue confetti to show a boy, not an orange cat!
I don't think you'll like how she gets you out, anyway.

Before she did the pinata, I read thru the list of Old Wives Tales on how they "predict" the gender of the baby.  They came out to be 5 for boy and 4 for girl. 
A rare family portrait.
4 generations!
Besides a bunch of her friends from work & school, a couple ladies from the studio showed up, along with my sister's husband & son so Randy had someone to hang out with. 
Her second hit knocked it off the hook, so she went at it like a samurai warrior!
I love her reaction to the blue confetti!
Great-grandma is so happy!

And now onto the next chapter of this adventure!
(btw, we did go out shopping and she picked up his first 2 outfits already!)