Wednesday, August 2, 2023

It's August!?!?!?

Where did July go??  I swear I just posted a week ago, but nope - it was 6/28!

Anyhoo... it's officially my birthday month so I'll accept cash and gifts all month! 
I'm going to be 50 on the 29th.  How insane is that?
I have lots of feelings about that fact, but I don't feel 50.
So this did indeed happen!
I got a good 6 or so inches cut off my hair.  
And it's still not terribly short!  
The Spouse isn't a fan.  I had it done while he was out of town and 3 days after he got home, I brought it up because he'd never mentioned it.  I commented that I know he noticed, so he must hate it.  He just doesn't like short hair.  But ya know what - it doesn't matter how long or short my hair is - when it's hot, it's all twisted up in a clippy so you can't see it anyway!  It looks tons healthier. And I like it - so NEENER!
Grandkids at the 4th of July parade.  
Got to love all the fire trucks with lights & sirens going!
BabyGirl isn't a fan of loud noises, so we did our own fireworks.  
She had a good time with the cheap Kroger fireworks and sparklers.
I ordered a 74" skeleton online.  
I'm pretty excited to get Marvin out with the rest of the army at Halloween!
We signed up LittleMan for tball.  I give kudos to the coaches for putting up with his shenanigans since he doesn't listen when he's interested in something else (like dirt or rocks in the infield!)
We'll have to get him a new glove already for next year since he favors his left hand.  He loves being around the other kids, tho. 
We went with the search & rescue team to a museum in Flint, MI to see an exhibit called "Real Bodies".  It was super cool.  My only issue is that I would have liked to know the age and ethnicity of these subjects.  Because we got the impression that these were all of Asian descent - besides some of them still had eyelids that gave it away - the bodies all had very short, slender builds like the sterotype.  I was looking at a display of healthy vs smokers lungs and I have a hard time believing the MY lungs are as small as these supposedly from an adult.  I'm no athlete but just the volume of my ribcage could hold a lot bigger organs than what we looked at. 
I was however fascinated by what the male's "twigs & berries" looked like without skin! 
Damn groundhogs.  We had to "exhume" the lawn mower! 
Seen at a local elementary school.
We took the grandkids to see "Tons of Trucks" this past weekend.  Basically the city of Rochester Hills emptied their DPW into a nearby parking lot - there was a bucket truck to install street signs, various excavators and front end loaders, snow plows, street sweepers, a steam roller probably minus the steam, one fire truck and 2 county SWAT trucks.  Kids could get into each of the vehicles and touch everything.  And there were a LOT of kids!  
I was sitting on the ground pulling weeds in my flowers and heard a bunch of giggles - Spawn was holding BabyGirl on LittleMan's shoulders.  They were both cracking up! 
We had a surprise party for my Mom's 89th birthday!  This was the one picture I was really wanting to get for her - it's the first time all of her great-grandkids were together.  The 2 on the right live near Chicago and the 3 big ones in the back live in Ohio so they're never here at the same time.  We rented my VFW hall and moved some of the tables to the kids had a place to play out of the way.   We all had a great time and Mom was so surprised! 

Before I sign off, last Tuesday was this blog's 14th birthday!


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Guess what day it is?

So it looks like this is going to be another catch-up type posts.  Since it's been a while since I've posted.  For some reason, I get home and sit at the computer and just lose all ability to put words together.   I start messing with photos or reading other blogs and then poof!  Time is gone.  So I'm at work (don't tell on me!) and I've uploaded a bunch of pics from my phone and I'll just go along with how they uploaded themselves.  

Have I really not posted since my A to Z Challenge Reflections post???  Sheesh. 

We're all doing well.  The Spouse is currently at his mom's house down in Arkansas for a few more days.  He has been working from home since 'Rona hit and it's tough for him with the grandkids there, too.  They love their Papa and want to "help" him work.  And our house is so small, he's sitting at the kitchen table, so it can be loud.  So this is a nice beak for him. 
I honestly envy him, since I get home from work and get attacked.  Little Man wants me to take him outside and BabyGirl just wants to do whatever anyone else is doing.  And they want to go into my bedroom and jump around on my bed and swing pillows around, etc, etc.  I don't know what it is about my bed being the party zone!   I usually have to shoo them out just to get a few minutes to myself & catch my breath (and get mauled by cats).  And then I feel guilty and then have to force myself to go outside.  And now he wants to go on walks because we got him a bike with training wheels.  I love them to pieces, but damn.  I need a break.   
Window peeker!  
My bed is literally at the same height as the window.  Which the cats love, since they don't have to exert any effort to look out it.  And this happens!
We have a zombie boy.  
What you can't see (besides the tongue hanging out) is his eyes rolled back.
OMG - I preordered the new Def Leppard CD as soon as I saw it was a thing.  
This is 99% awesome!  They took a bunch of their songs and they're remixed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  The only one I don't like is Pour Some Sugar on Me.  Sorry, but it's awful.  I heard that some Canadian songwriter "stripped it down" and had been playing it, so they got with her for this version.  She basically took the words and put them on slow piano music.  Killed the whole vibe of the song.  Horrible.  
BabyGirl isn't fond of loud noises - so Papa's air compressor got this look.
My niece and her family came up from Ohio for a family reunion.  Her youngest is 2 weeks older than LittleMan.  And they both loved to visit with the horses at my sister's house.  And luckily, Scout loves kids right back! 
This year's Halloween display is growing by 9 headstones!  Later this summer, there will be a post about them on my other blog with the stories behind them. 2 are destined to be memorial stones for Spawn's car that got towed away and mine that was totalled by an idiot who didn't see a red light.  Another is going to have a little skeleton popping up from behind it.  And all the little ones are just going to be filler. 
I love the "Ooops" paint section of Lowes. 
I found this $50 paint for $13 and it's the perfect color for headstones!    
This is why we call BabyGirl "Monkey Do" since she'll try to do whatever she sees her brother do.  
Last weekend, Spawn and I took the grandkids kids to the Michigan HauntFest and on the way home, we stopped in Hell!  We had lunch, walked around there & got some ice cream but it was too crowded so we didn't stay long. 
Monday night, we met up with the family for dinner because my nephew and his fam were in from Chicago.  His kids had a good time playing with my grands.  
The little guy with the red glasses is almost 5 and LittleMan is exactly 3 1/2.  
And Miss Curly Locks was 2 in April and BabyGirl won't be 2 until October! 
This was the view out my window this morning around 7:30, thanks to the Canadian wildfires.  On the way home yesterday, visibility was only about 1/2 mile.  It's currently 12:30 pm and the sun is actually casting shadows but it's still hazy.    
Me & the ladies in my department at work went to JCPenney and had portraits taken, complete with the whole 80s vibe.  We laughed so hard! 

Anyhoooo - it's time to sign off!  
Random thought - I think tomorrow I'm going to get a haircut.  
I liked it when it used to be short, so I'll do that again!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Sunday, May 7, 2023

#AtoZChallenge Reflections

Welcome back!  

This is the first time I can legit say that I've earned the winner's trophy!  I had every post done ahead of time and while I kind of slacked on the visiting towards the end, I did do some!  I'll make sure I hit up plenty of reflection posts. 

btw - thank you to the graphics person this year - they're pretty awesome - I'm all about the tree
 (as mine is seen randomly at the bottom of each post)

I realized a couple days into the challenge that my topic really didn't lend itself to a whole lot of comments, so I appreciate those who did leave comments!

My thoughts about the challenge....

Kudos again to the A to Z team for making this happen!  I can only imagine how much work this is.  Keeping track of and visiting 200+ blogs is a lot!  We appreciate you all!

I enjoyed that you guys also had a theme on the A to Z blog. 

My opinion about the list posts in the AtoZ blog is......meh.  I could take them or leave them.  I glanced at them, but I 100% prefer the master list when going to see who I want to visit. I like being about to sort the list how I want and marking the ones I've been to.

I also liked when there was kind of a brief rundown of dates to note in the right sidebar - like when theme reveal sign ups are open, challenge sign ups open & close, etc.  So you can see it right at a glance.   

Anyhooo, off to do some visiting!

and I think I might have an idea for a theme for 2024 already....I'll have to see what I can come up with for daily topics, tho! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Halfway to Halloween!!!

Since I didn't actually make a Halloween post (on this blog anyway) last year, here it is now!

My Halloween blog is Maple Grove Cemetery.  I post there most of the year. 

Yes, Halloween is my favorite time of the year.  I put 1000x more effort into it than I do Christmas.  

2022 really had some good helpers. 

The grandkids actually love my skeletons.

Chuck apparently needed a toy jigsaw.

I picked up some new blowmolds this year!  I haven't had any new ones in many moons. 

These were from actual stores.  My only issue is that the little skeleton is thicker plastic and the C7 (aka nightlight) blub isn't bright enough for it!

This one I got from a vendor at the Haunted Garage Sale put on by the Motor City Haunt Club. 

I volunteered to help vendors carry stuff in - so I got to shop before the doors opened to the public.  I helped carry this guy in - and not long after, carried it right back out...  to my car!

Being October in Michigan, we always get some bad weather.  We always angle the shack carefully so its not being hit square by the west winds tunneling between the houses.  Damned if the wind didn't come out of the east one day!

Besides one skeleton's spine getting snapped at the same time, this was the only destruction we had. I was happy that the glass in the front window didn't break!
The sign
The Mosh Pit
The Spawn wanted to add a pet cemetery off to the side. 
This is a work in progress.

I absolutely love all the critter skeletons that you can get nowadays!
I have chickens & ducks & pigs & rabbits & dogs of all shapes/sizes & cats, a goat, a pony, a horse and a variety of smaller ones that I can't remember right now.  I even have a jackalope!
Things get moved around a lot, up until basically trick or treating starts - there was a pic of the pony (named DucTape - the horse is named ZipTie) earlier inside the fence!  But now he's escaping. 
Skeletons playing 'kick the bucket'
Those 2 on the bench always seem to have margarita glasses or beer bottles...
This is a 7 foot tall skeleton.  
This is one of my favorite headstones.
The Conga Line
There's a story behind this one.  
The Spawn has totalled 2 cars, a green Ford (named Lorenzo) and a blue Pontiac (named Gertrude).

This summer I'll be making a new headstone - for my old car.  It'll be my second headstone with color other than gray since it'll be for a red Saturn.  
The story is in this post.

There will also be a memorial headstone made for Spawn's 3rd car.  Reginald the Cadillac didn't die a violent death like Lorenzo, Gertrude & Ruby did, but he left the driveway with dignity on the bed of a  towtruck. 

Anyhoo.  I've made all my headstones myself.  They're plywood painted with exterior paint, then coated with Drylok, which is concrete sealant with sand in it.  And maybe another coat of paint.  And maybe more Drylok.  And more paint.  They've been around since 2008 so they've been touched up a time or three.  They have conduit hangers on the back - which are like U shaped things screwed into the back so they slide over a piece of rebar pounded into the ground. 

Here's the "official" video, complete with night shots.
The Mosh Pit is a separate thing on the opposite side of the driveway so their lights don't drown out all the LEDs in the cemetery. 
I love the sky here!
I had one hell of a time finding these ducks!
Ducklings were found everywhere, but I needed the bigger guys!
The 2 little jack-o-lanterns are painted since that's easier for the grandkids to do.