Wednesday, February 21, 2024

It's pretend spring!

For real!  Mid 50s today - which honestly feels downright balmy - but Saturday is supposed to be 31* - then back in the 50s the beginning half of next week!  

I think Sunday I'll be out working in the yard - it's a mess. 
The first "big" snow we had was in mid-January and it came down wet & heavy.
My burning bush above was almost flattened. 
The Squirrel Expressway between these 2 trees came down and is still hanging out there, attached by some bark. 
I didn't realize this branch was actually snapped at first - it hangs close to the ground when we get a good rain so that's what I was thinking.  Nope.  I was able to grab it and pull it down. 
I'm sure the guys who mow the neighbor's yard will be happy - I know I will be!  No more being grabbed when fighting with the mower in the ditch! 

The end of January was the VFW's Dept of Michigan Mid-Winter Conference.  I went for the first time last year because I was 'officially' in charge of the VOD/PP/TOY programs at our post.  This year I also wanted to sit in on Social Media training since I somehow got suckered into being the Public Affairs Officer for the post.....???   I need to quit agreeing to do anything!  Anyhoo.
I took Friday off work and drove 2 1/2 hours to Kalamazoo.  Social Media & website training was at 3 so I checked into my hotel afterward, then met with my commander & senior vice commander (Art & Mike) for dinner and some adult beverages at the local VFW.   Saturday, we attended the statewide meeting, grabbed some lunch, then parted ways until the VOD/PP/TOY banquet that evening.    
Gee - can you tell we had lunch at a Mexican place? 

The banquet was really nice.  Kids from all the VFW districts in Michigan were there and they all got some sort of scholarship $.  The one thing that stood out was this Marine Corps Sargeant Major who did a spoken piece called "Old Glory" and he was mesmerizing.  He is one of those people who has an amazingly powerful voice that just pulls you in and the building could fall down around you and you wouldn't notice.  I wonder if someone recorded that, since I'd like to hear it again.  It brought a tear, too. 
I got all dressed up!

And of course I had to explore some cemeteries while I was in Kalamazoo.  This one was a Jewish cemetery that had a single road that only fit one car - up the side of a really steep hill where I could turn around. For some reason, Miss Myra here kept drawing my attention, so I placed a little stone on her grave and visited for a moment.   
I saw a much newer stone about 1/2 way up the hill and on the back was a quote from the deceased "I'm so glad I did not have to walk up this hill!"  Obviously a man with a sense of humor! 

I pointed out to the Spawn that I had something going on one way or another every single weekend in 2024 until March 10.  Sheesh. 

I had to recertify for Wilderness First Aid for the SAR team.  So we had to attend 2- 3 hour Zoom classes and an in person practicals session the following weekend.  
The instructor had a bunch of funny, sort of dark, cartoons.  

Sis1's neighbors has chickens that like to visit.  
Finally - this past weekend we had the Lapeer County Emergency Services Gala.  We thought it would just be a nice dinner, etc.  Nope.  Damn thing was formal!   Which we found out Thursday.  So Friday after work I ended up at a bridal salon where I finally found an appropriate dress.  Saturday morning, we went to a men's store to get the Spouse hooked up with a new suit.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute! 
And I got to wear the pearls he got me for our 10th anniversary.
The Spawn did my hair & makeup.
Almost half of the SAR team attended. 
There was a nice dinner, dancing, drawings and awards given out to police, fire & emt people of the year. 
I won a bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses & 2-$25 gift cards for a local restaurant.  

Other than that - all is good.  The Spouse spent January in Arkansas and was supposed to come home on February 3.  Of course the granddaughter was sick with Strep, so he opted to stay for another week.  Then, the day before he got home, there was a fire at the daycare so it was closed for a week!  Luckily it happened after hours, so noone was there.  And then the grandson spent some time in the ER because the poor little guy was constipated and it was pressing on his bladder so he couldn't pee, either.  Lots of pain!    

Luckily everything has calmed down this week.  Both kids are mostly mended and the daycare is able to be open while parts of it is being worked on.  Now to add to the fun - I have my first colonoscopy tomorrow!  Prep so far has been no big deal, but I'm about to start taking all the stuff to clean me out, so I'm really not looking forward to that!  

Wish me luck - my alarm just went off so I have to start the plumbing cleanse!


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Checking in

This seems to be a recurring topic for my blog posts!  
I actually started this post the end of January - uploading pics - so let's see what we got!
I pass this cemetery on my way into work pretty often (my route changes depending on if I stop at Tim Horton's or not)  It was a weird foggy morning and the lights of the distant strip mall backlit it so beautifully!
  I called this art installation "40 (mph) in the Fog" 

So most everyone was on the Detroit Lions bandwagon there for a while. 
 But I don't know how widespread this fun little fact is...
outside the Coleman A Young Municipal Building in Detroit is this statue called the Spirit of Detroit.  
If any of our professional sports teams make it into the playoffs, they donate $25,000 for maintenance of the statue and in return - the statue wears their jersey.    It also wore a purple shirt back in 2019 when the Detroit Youth Choir was on America's Got Talent.  
VFW Post 4659 represented at the District 5 Voice of Democracy / Teacher of the Year awards banquet.
  Sadly, our candidates didn't win, but we thought they were awesome. 
Random Christmas decorations out in Attica, MI.
For some reason, I always have "asshole" blowmolds!  I never know why but light bulbs never stay lit on all of them!  Fixing it might be as simple as giving it a shake or twisting the bulb back into the socket.
I ordered this year's Tim Horton's Christmas ornament from someone on eBay and they sent it in a TimBit box.
The Spawn bought herself a Stanley Cup.  
But this is the only one I care about! 
She didn't get the biggest one, but it's probably about the same size as the NHL one.
From Snapchat in 2020 - and I still haven't done any more on it.
I think that bird was surprised that the snow was deeper than expected!
Tracks near the barn at Sis1's house.
From her dog and one of her barn cats. 
Love it!
January 20, my SAR team had a drill.  
14 degrees and 6 inches of snow. 
We had K9s out but it was too cold on their paws for them to stay out very long.  So our director secretly grabbed one of the guys who'd been out with a K9 team and sent him to where our actual "missing" guy was.  Rich was all in camo and hard to see - Todd (on the left) clearly was not!  

Sis1 was doing radio for that K9 team and she never realized he was missing so when incident command called for us to be on the look out for Todd, she freaked out!  
This is why we do drills.
But we did think it was funny!

Stay tuned for more!