Second Week of Florida 2018


We spent some time down in Naples with my Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob. There was some eating and hanging out involved. One visit included a yummy rib dinner at Bricktops, and a visit with Girl Cousin Lindsay, her husband Rob B. and their sweet little baby girl, Bailey Bean. They are all known internationally as Team Levine!

Bailey Bean, who will now be called BB, was very interested in books. I bet she gets that from her Mama, who is also a book fan. Honey obliged her.


Serious thoughts.


With her Daddy, Rob B.


And there’s Girl Cousin Lindsay! They are Team Levine!


Hi BB!! ❤ ❤


Grand-père, AKA Uncle Bob, and BB talking about animals. MOO.


You’ve gotta be quick with her, she is moooooving on!


Grand-mère, AKA Aunt Phyllis. In her heart she is French.


BB came around for sugar at bedtime, she got more than that from Mousey!


There was nuzzling and all around gittin’ her!!!!


I think she liked it 🙂  And off to bed she went, without a peep!


I have been asking my Uncle Bob, who is my Mother’s brother, to do an DNA test for years now. I did one several years ago and was surprised by what was represented, but I thought it would be interesting to see what his would say. After all, mine had both of my parents DNA, whereas his would only reflect my Mother’s side.  After much discussion and prodding, I bought him one for Christmas, brought it down to him in Florida, and he graciously donated his spit and sent it off. Now we wait!

What I am most interested to find out is whether my one percent Jewish comes from their side!!! He has had many people ask him if he is Jewish, and even Aunt Phyllis is convinced that he is one of The Chosen People! She thinks he looks a little Bernie Madoff-ish. I just see Ummel Bob!


We continued the eating, visiting, lounging, shopping, all liberally sprinkled with looking at houses, communities, spec homes and model homes. All beautiful and each had their own pros and cons.

We usually stay in Cape Coral because it’s hard to find weekly rentals down this way, most prefer monthly commitments or more at this time of year. Although Cape Coral has come a L.O.N.G. way since it was hit hard in the economic disaster of 10 years ago, it takes too long to get to the freeway and the traffic is horrific getting through to Ft. Myers, so we looked mostly in Ft. Meyers and Estero. We did go and look at a lovely Del Webb community in Ave Maria, about 40 minutes from Naples. The houses and prices were GREAT, but even Honey agreed that it was too far from….EVERYTHING.

We have rented homes from the same couple for the last 3 years. Every year they have had a new rental and we have been the first to stay at each! She told us that they had decided to move into the one we were staying at when we left. They liked the location and the double lot.

It sure had pretty views!


It was a nice relaxing visit, and before we knew it we were packing to head home.


As per usual, Honey had us there nice and early. That meant we had some time to amuse ourselves. We did right fine in that department.



They lovin’.


And then we started with the Snapchat. Oh.My.Word.


I wish I could put a video on here because there was a goodie! Slapped that puppy up on Facebook.


KITTIES!!! My favorite 🙂


Abby collected us from the airport and we came home to a winter storm warning and dinner at Chip and Dip. I was sporting my sandals, so was a bit nippy.

Mousey’s lament the next day.


But someone was mighty glad to see us and has sticketh closer than a brother ever since.


Oh yes he has.

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It was a grand vacation!


First Week of Florida 2018


Hi Guys, long time no type!! We had a delightful two weeks in The Sunshine State, soaking up the sun and warm weather! It was just Honey and I for the first week, then we were joined by Mousey on the second. The weather was stellar, the pool was warm and our view was quite Florida-ish!


Honey got right to the fitchin’. Catch and release all the day long.


We went to a little joint called Woody’s Waterside in St James City on Pine Island. There were some boats going by for Honey to watch.


Loved this picture!


One of my most favorite meals, some kind of smoked pork BBQ nachos. YUM! We enjoyed them so much we went back after Mousey arrived. They also raved about the fresh shrimp they had. DELISH!


There’s my boyfriend, I like his face. ❤


I made plans with my Aunt Phyllis to go with her to her BSF class in Naples.  I went with her a couple of years ago when they had an actual class down there, but now she is part of a satellite class that has it’s own discussion groups, but hears a streamed lecture from Ft. Myers. This was particularly interesting to me because our class in Wayne absorbed another class in our area, and they receive a streamed lecture at their location. So I felt like I experienced what they have every week! I know my Aunt is thankful to be able to attend class in Naples instead of driving all the way up to Ft. Myers. Traffic down there is a NIGHTMARE! It took Honey and I an hour and a half to get from Cape Coral to Naples!!!!!

While I was at BSF, Honey went to my Uncle Bob’s coffee group. There are about 7 or 8 guys and this gentleman was among them. His name is Brian McFarlane and he was, among other things, a hockey announcer in Canada, land of Honey’s birth.


Bob had told Honey about him previously, and Honey knew who he was! Honey had the good fortune to sit right next to him as he told story after story! He said his father wrote a bunch of Hardy Boys mysteries, he regaled him with stories about Bobby Orr, Glen Hall, Eddie Shack, and Gordie Howe. He is in the hockey hall of fame and has been an author, songwriter, artist, announcer and has had a very interesting life. Honey enjoyed him thoroughly!

Every day Honey needed a picture to send to his buddy at work. He knew that in his absence, this fellow had to work with another guy. So he sent a text with a picture saying “I got to do/eat this, you get to work with *****” This was one of the pictures.


And another.


And this one. We stopped at a highly rated doughnut shop on the way to the airport to pick up Mousey. Apple fritters, Smore, Maple, Orange and a plain puffy one. They were good but I’m sorry, they can’t hold a candle to our own Tasty Boy in Flat Rock, MICHIGAN!!!!!


I only eat Cheeto’s on vacation. Breakfast of Champions.


The day after Mousey got there, Honey went fitchin’ with his buddy Bob, who retired from Ford 10 years ago. We had gone to dinner the week before with him and his wife Kay, and the guys made their plans right then.


They did their best catching near Bokeelia. Red drum.


Snook. Sounds like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t, I asked.


We were happy to have Mouse-Ann with us! She likes to do all the things we do; eat, lounge, eat, shop, have ice cream, visit. And eat.


She spent a goodish amount of time toasting herself on the dock. It’s times like this that she is sincerely jealous of her sister and brother’s ability to tan supremely easily. And neither one of them gives a RIP! She gives a RIP!


She is a pleasure to have around! See my purty necklace? My Aunt Phyllis gave it to me after she and Uncle Bob went to Israel a year or so ago. I wear it proudly because, after all, I am ONE PERCENT Jewish!!!!!!! Doubly chosen!!!

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More tomorrow 🙂



I thought I was finished being sick when we last spoke, but alas, I was not. The other cold symptoms have left but I am still coughing. It feels like that could go on for a while. While my immune system was waging war with the virus, my ever present kidney infection decided to make its move and overrun the bladder territory. It is being crushed mercilessly by a 5 day course of Cipro.

Anyone else not a fan of the Cipro? I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Weak, headache, heart racing. Plus it came with 4 pages of side effect notes, which is alarming in itself. I guess it’s better than a reaction to Bactrim, but not by much.

Besides coughing, I have done a few things around here. I got a temporary crown. Apparently the second tooth from the back had 3 cracks, that were causing it to feel…insecure… while using it. I was glad the dentist could figure out which one it was because I was unsure if it was that one or its big brother behind it. It has probably had a filling in it for over 40 years, I guess it has fulfilled its purpose. I thank you for your service.

The gals in our house have all had their hairs done. The Ab-Cat is all chemically straightened for another 6 or so months, Mousey is heavily highlighted once again, and I have had my silver lining removed for another 6 weeks. I have one more client today and then I am ON VACATION for 2 weeks!!!!

Honey and I are heading to The Sunshine State for a little R and R, so attention to the blob could be spotty, or not. I make no guarantees in any direction. I have brought the suitcases up from the basement, gone to the library with Abby to check out some reading material, started an area on the kitchen table with things we need and add to it daily, and have a pile of clothing in the bedroom awaiting packing. It’s getting real!

We have had some warmer weather that has melted a goodish amount of Winter Storm Mateo, but I have to say, some of the roads in our town are not going to make it through this winter! I thought Warren was a horror, but Morton Taylor is an ABOMINATION!!!! The people in charge of such things should be ASHAMED of themselves!!!!!!! And don’t give me that garbage about it being the county’s responsibility, get that dumb truck out there with the tar pellets in it and fill in those TRENCHES!!!!!!! Good common sense, its like a war torn country out here!

In good news, I have lost 8 pounds on the Keto diet! I don’t think I will make my goal of 15 before we go on vacation, but HOORAY for 8!!!!! We have decided we will eat normal on our trip, but as Honey said, not go hog wild! I asked what that meant, he said we would not have ice cream twice a day. Not sure that was really a thing, but it must have happened a time or two to stick in his mind! All I can say is chicken pot pie, I’m coming for ya!!!!!!!

We have been watching The Olympics, or should I say DVR-ing them, because OH.MY.WORD. the commercials! So many commercials! We loved the snowboarding and are heavily invested in figure skating at the moment. Abby and I have been using the ever present commercial time to goggle old figure skaters we used to love! A lot of them are fairly active on social media, hi Scott Hamilton, Kristie Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan! Have not heard Honey mention hockey so I’m guessing that is not in high gear yet.

Have a pleasant Monday, I got stuffs to do!

Greetings After Winter Storm Mateo!


The Mitten was officially dumped on over the weekend. We had been hearing a storm was coming, after already receiving several inches earlier in the week. Honey said he was ALREADY sick of plowing snow before Mateo arrived!!!

I started feeling puny last Wednesday, just an annoying cough. When I woke on Thursday I felt considerably worse. I hope I didn’t contaminate anyone in my misguided attendance at BSF, because I deteriorated as the morning went on. I made a couple stops on my way home, to Sam’s to get some essentials, cream, butter and cheese, and to Meijer to find something to ease my distress. By that evening I had a fever, headache, runny nose and velaciraptors in my throat.

Vitamin C, because we were out, NyQuil because Mousey swears by it, Cepacol per recommendation of our BSF treasurer Joyce, Mentholatum, blogger Boo Mama swears by Mentholatum, and the long word with an O came from The Peanuts Champ and Keelyody at birthday club on Tuesday evening. Oh, and not featured, but possibly the hardest workers of all, Advil, Halls cough drops, and Puffs Plus. I can’t say that anything was a miracle worker, but it’s possible that they were helpful. No, I take that back, the Puffs Plus were miracle workers. Puffs and the Mentholatum smeared around the nostrils kept the Rudolph nose away!


I spent the first part of the weekend on the couch coughing and watching Finding Your Roots and Call the Midwife. I alternated the second part of the weekend with more of the same and adding vacuuming (boredom and necessity), helping Honey in his quest of straightening up the den by going through my side of the bookshelf (reorganizing, purging, donating and dusting), coughing, working on my Bible studies, drinking tea and watching the Olympics. And coughing. My family hates it when I cough like this. It’s not sympathy, it’s more like annoyance, because HACKING.

This loser was constantly all up in my business, as he is at this very moment.


Seriously?? And now he’s giving me sassy tail because I am touching him while trying to type!!!! How could I NOT touch his intruding rumpus??!! I told him he could leave if he wasn’t comfortable. He declined. But still the sassy tail slapping my leg.


He got the boot after this.


Wants my food and drink. This is particularly unattractive to see.


So while I coughed and endured the cat sleeping all over me, Honey plowed multiple times, and stayed away from my emanating germs.

My view, since I had not ventured out since Thursday.


On the bright side, we Facetimed with this little nugget! She has a new passion, this jumping thingy!!! When we first saw her in it she was just kicking her legs, occasionally making contact with the floor, but girlfriend has got it ALL going on now!!!!! She is a jumping BEAN!


She also gave cheese a whirl. I think it was successful.


Then pizza crust, I think she’s a foodie!


Evidently a bath lover as well!


Honey went back to work last night after his two week layoff (retirement practice!!!), and I was very sad. Even though he was sick for the beginning of it, it was sure nice having him around!

So here we are on Monday, all dug out, sunshine replacing almost continuous snow, and feeling somewhat better. It’s the coughing!


Have a pleasant Monday.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge



From this Side of the Pond

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter.

 The thing I like best about a Michigan winter is getting out of Dodge for a few weeks!! We are planning a trip to The Sunshine State, so that is the most appealing one to me. A very close second would be a scrumtrulescent chocolate treat around Valentine’s Day, that makes the world brighter! As for what helps make the month brighter? Let’s say the knowledge that there are most likely only 2 more months of Mitten weather!
2. Tell us about something you’ve seen or done recently that you’d say was ‘super’?

Every time we see this little nugget on the computer she is doing something Super! Our Grandbaby MoonPie is 7 months old and is all about movement!!

Super crawling!


Pulling up!


And just all around super cute!



3. Best thing you ate in a ‘bowl’ last week?

I made a yummy soup for the Super Bowl. I used a recipe for dream cheese chicken chowder and substituted ground beef and eliminated corn for the sake of our Keto diet. It was a nice change and met the need for Mexican and comfort food. Win/win.
4. Something you’re ‘cheering’ for right now?

First up, I WON THE SUPER BOWL THINGY!!!!!! Anyone who knows me can tell you that about all things athletic because I am sportally challenged!  I wasn’t even going to fill out my spots but Honey said I had to, This caused me to wrack my brain to make choices about things I have zero/ minimal knowledge of. I would like to point out that Honey and The Peanuts Champ DO care about these things and they had reasons for the answers they chose, while I am there all willy nilly selecting things on the basis of a bunch of random. And WINNING i might add! So YAY Capri K!!!


I will also be cheering for the good old United States of America in the Olympic games!! And also for Canada, land of Honey’s birth. Hockey can be very complicated and conflicting for him, especially during the finals. I will try and explain his thinking. He roots for the USA to win UNLESS the USA is not in the game, then he cheers for Canada. BUT, if the USA  is in the finals with Canada, then he totally jumps ship and becomes a full fledged Canadian once again and cheers on the Canadians!!! The reason? Because Canada invented hockey and they deserve to win. He is really still standing on guard for thee, wearing a maple leaf touk, with his pea meal bacon sandwich, poutine, butter tarts and Tim Horton coffee.

He’s also the only person I know who actually enjoys and understands curling. So we’ll be cheering!!!!

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you’ll find a list here).

Probably a solid 7-8. I watch events that I would not normally care about because I love the back stories. The games pretty much dominate our regularly scheduled viewing.

Our family has a long history of being fans of the ice skating. In the 90s we used to tape programs when the kids were small and they knew those events forward and backwards! That was the heyday of Kristy Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Kurt Browning, Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov, Yuka Sato, Katarina Witt,  Paul Wylie, Tara Lupinski, Michelle Kwan and Nancy Kerrigan. We are not up on the current skaters but we will enjoy watching them nonetheless!

As I said, Honey is all about the hockey. He watches the men and women, morning, noon and night. And DVR.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Here is the Way Back When-sday part of the post. It’s a beauty from around 1993 when The Ab-Cat was around 4 and The Boy was around 2. This picture amuses me so, such a perfect snapshot of their personalities at this age! Abby was fearless and steering that dragon like it was her J.O.B.! The Boy on the other hand is looking mighty scared and not liking this new venture! At all! He grew out of it and gladly joined his sister on all the roller coasters they encountered 🙂


Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Decade of Blogging!!! <3


Guys, the 10 year anniversary of the blog was last month and I completely forgot!!!!! I started blogging at No Whining Allowed in January of 2008, used up all the space there and then started this one! They say that the tenth should be celebrated with tin or aluminum, I searched but there’s not much available. For the creative, recycling bunch;

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a little better.


I love you so much I made you this sparkling beauty!

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I am a little surprised that the little blob has made this milestone!!! I didn’t have longevity goals when I started blogging in 2008. It was a fun little enterprise started with Mrs. Schmenkman, a space to keep up with loved ones and talk about what we had going on. It turned into a lot more than that for me!

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It became a way to record our life and times. It became a repository to hold experiences of joy, humor, wonder, learning, thoughts, occasions and grief. Writing about October 7, a pivotal point in the life of our family, has been especially therapeutic for me. I’m sure that was not even a thought in my mind upon embarking on this journey.

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It’s been a good way for me to reflect on things I love dearly, our family, our memories, the cats, the times of our life, memories unearthed from youth, faith, funny stories, friends, trips, projects and so much more!

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Here is the part you have come to expect over the last DECADE! Trolling for comments! The blog has actually been visited more in the last year, so there must be some newcomers mixed in with the Old Faithfuls.  It has been my pleasure to meet with you in this space and it is my fondest desire to keep it up! So let’s hear some chatter!!! Pop in the comments to say hello, and if it’s your first time doing so, tell me who you are and how you found us!

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Here’s to many more years together!!!!! Much love to you all ❤ ❤ ❤

Wednesday Hodgepodge


Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! Here we go.

From this Side of the Pond

1. Speaking of endings….at your wit’s end, at loose ends, a dead end, burn the candle at both ends, all’s well that end’s well, or no end in sight…which ‘end’ phrase might best be applied to your life lately? Explain. 

I am feeling relatively calm at the moment. Nothing causing a flurry of activity or undue stress, so I will choose alls well that ends well. That was what Ma Ingalls was known to quote when things didn’t quite turn out as expected, and that has mostly been the story of my life! Seems like a good philosophy for living because in what kind of life does everything turn out just the way you planned?!

2. What was a must have accessory when you were growing up? Did you own one? If so tell us what you remember about it.

I remember in around 8th or 9th grade, it seemed like all the girls had these super cute white ski parkas with a furry collar or hood. I wanted one so bad!!! But my ever practical Mother nixed the white and bought me a similar one in purple. I was somewhat disappointed at first, because those white coats were sweeeet, but I TOTALLY get it now!!!!
3. Something that made you smile yesterday?

I asked The Boy and The Dane to send us a picture, cause Grammy and Papa need to see how little MoonPie is growing! She is all about moving and making sweet little noises!


And apparently tasting!

4. January 30th is National Croissant Day. Do you like croissants? Sweet or savory? We’re having chicken salad for lunch…would you rather have yours served on a croissant, a wrap, a bagel, bread, or a roll of some sort?

I do like croissants and I would choose to have chicken salad on one. I am an equal opportunity bread lover though, and I would not turn down any of the choices!
5. Sum up your January in fifteen words or less.

COLD, snowy, quiet, dark, snowy, binge watching, cold, keto, hot tea, heavy cream, and did I mention COLD and SNOWY!!??
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

This is our third week of the Keto diet. I have lost 5 lbs and Honey has lost six, so we are not complaining! Surprisingly, it can be difficult to get enough fat in your diet, who would have thunk it? There are all kinds of fat bomb recipes on Pinterest to help you with that, including sweet and savory. Since I have a steady, insistent sweet tooth, I opted for sweet and both Honey and I agreed that this recipe was a winner!



I didn’t make ours in a traditional peanut butter cup, I put the cheesecake part in and just added the chocolate on top, much simpler and quicker. I also made 2 different sizes, some in a silicone mold (small) and some in a mini muffin tin (larger). This was a keeper, so YUMMY! Will definitely venture into the fat bomb territory again!! Our thanks to Keto Mama!

Thanks for stopping by!