Category Archives: around our house

Catching Up

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Oh my People, it’s been a busy summer! I had big intentions to blog, blog, blog, and there was SO much to talk about! But there were 5 trips since the end of May, 6 if you count helping getting Honey get ready for his big fishing trip to Alaska, and I am counting it because even though I didn’t actually go on the trip, I was certainly involved in the discussion of needs and co-packing for the trip. And you all know pre trip prep is important!

Added to the continual packing and unpacking suitcases has been near constant sweating. I saw on the Facebook yesterday that this summer in The Mitten has been the 6th hottest on record since they have been recording temperatures from the 1800s!!! That is far too toasty for me and my post menopausal self!!

In addition to coming and going, perspiring all the way, has been the usual walking with Keelyody and Jip the Farm Dog, the cutting of the grass, the weeding and watering, and the getting swamped by my clients who need their hairs done when there are pockets of free days in between trips.

Mixed in with the mundane have been more pressing issues, like what color am I going to paint our dang walls?? The angst of wondering “when will The Boy and The Dane move back to Michigan?”, “is Honey going to retire this year?”, and “will my right kidney and I ever be able to live in peaceful, bacteria-free harmony?”

All of that was overshadowed by the unwelcome news that some dear Loved Ones are dealing with seriously life threatening situations, requiring many prayers, asking for all manor of intervention. But do you know what I am most thankful for? We have the ability to take everything that concerns us to the One who made us. He knows just what to do, even when we don’t. Thank you Lord.  We will continue to believe that He can use all things for His good.

I wanted to show you the back porch, it has done exceptionally well! I have to give a big shout out to Mousey and Honey for keeping up with the watering while I was flying and driving hither and yon! These pictures were from July, when I thought things were looking very loverly 🙂 Mousey calls these Jurassic Park plants, otherwise known as the beautious coleus.

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See my cutey cute ceramic kitty cat from Virginia? ❤ Probably not it’s permanent home, but that’s where I stuck it when I got home and there it remains.

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And the other side.

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This little fella in the front row is winner of the My Precious award this year! So soft, so lush and reliable, and when you touch it it smells like lime!!! No idea what the name is, but I surely have plans for it next summer!

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This pot was another unexpected favorite. You know how sometimes you have some leftover stuff and you jam it all into one pot and hope for the best? Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I find myself inordinately fond of this combination.

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My lantana has seriously underperformed this year in all pots, but the coleus more than makes up for it here.

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Here we are the end of August, FULL ON Jurassic Park!

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They have met in the middle and completely blocked the unused doorwall to our bedroom!!!

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It’s a jungle out there! I have to say though, I don’t like when they sprout those long things. I used to pinch them off, but this time of year it can be a full time job, and it seems like the bees like the delicate little purple/blue blooms that are on them. So we do what we can to support our local bee population in their efforts to live a successful life.

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Honey will be wanting to close the pool any minute now, so their days are numbered. I would like to keep them until after we have our Caregroup get together, it looks much nicer 🙂

In other news: From The Boy and The Dane!!!!!!!

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SURPRISE BABY!!! The more the merrier ❤ It will be grand to have another little nugget to smooch!

I had planned to begin painting the inside of our house this summer. I did not get around to it. Paint is on sale all over this Labor Day weekend, and it is my intention to get a gallon and paint a wall in the kitchen, foyer and great room, to see what’s what. We have a tri-fold goal of finding something neutral for resale, looking good with our crown molding (that I do NOT want to paint), and if possible, toning down the orangey honey in our honey oak cabinets and wood trim. It’s a LOT to ask, I know. I think we have found a color up to the task. More details to follow at a later date.

Honey has received highly unofficial word that he will pretty sure be laid off several weeks this fall. Most likely. You know that Ford Motor Company, it’s all set in stone, until it isn’t. I think he will be happy to be laid off as he has several things on his plate to attend to. Fairly high on his list is to ferret out two leaks in our basement. One is coming from our shower, the other is a little more problematic and will require the removal of some drywall 😦  We are thankful that he will have some time to address these issues. Because it is a rare task for Honey that only requires one trip to Home Depot. That time will come in handy.

I have much to tell you about our trip to the new place in Florida, my trip out to Seattle with Mousey to see The Boy, The Dane, MoonPie and the gestating Little Dipper, a fun visit to Gun Lake, and Honey’s musings on his Alaska Adventure among other things. Thanks for hanging around! ❤

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MIA

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Whew, that was a busy few weeks! Look!!! It’s finally spring! We had some bea-u-tiful weather a few weekends ago and Honey and I took full advantage of it. I was SO sore the whole next week. What the heck? Seriously, in agony. But we got a big jump start on the yard work and it is looking pretty good!

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Hey Y’All, I got my purse!! No broken zipper this time! This was my concern though. I didn’t even realize it until I got out of the car at BSF. That’s a LOT of print going on! Print Palooza!

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I did much better the next week! We were waiting to be let in at the church where we met for Sharing Day, it was a tad bit nippy out! I am liking it a lot, it could stand a bit of rearranging and tweaking though. Schmenky I am in need of a haircut!

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After Sharing Day about 27 ladies came over here for lunch. This was one of the reasons I was in the midst of a hectic. You know, you need to do some spring cleaning, and we have the worlds most prolific spiders, 4 continuously shedding felines and a winters worth of debris outside. We definitely needed to get the patio table set up and make some sense of the back yard.

I also wanted to go to the Favorite Flower Place to pick up a few things to make the front and back porches look a little purty. Jip the Farm Dog accompanied me on the jaunt for a light load, with full intentions of heading down there again the next week.

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It looks like a lot, but we have squeezed WAY more into a car than that!!!

This little guy has been a needy catten, not that he isn’t usually a lap hog, but especially sticking closerthanabrother.

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My pajamas set off his eyes and fur most beauteously, don’t you think?!

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Mothers Day had me thinking about my Mama.

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And my Grandmas. I come from good stock 🙂

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I am heading down to Virginia on Wednesday for the 23 annual Memorial Day Hootenanny Getaway!!! I am so looking forward to spending time with Mrs Schmenkman, Mr C and their kitty-wittys!!!

My apologies for being an absent blobber, and it is my dearest desire to do better henceforth. If we don’t speak, have a thankful Memorial Day.

Wild Turkey Prelude

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Hi Guys! I’m still here but in the middle of a hectic. This is the last week of BSF and that involves a leaders fellowship for 60 on Wednesday, and another Sharing Day lunch for childrens leaders, admin, and staff over here on Thursday. Compound that with all the extra things you like to do when about 25 ladies are coming for lunch, and a BEAUTIFUL weekend where Honey and I have worked ourselves to the nub getting a huge jump start on the yard work, well, that edged out blogging.

Funny thing, whenever I have these gals over there is MUCH talking and laughing. My family has declared that it sounds like a bunch of wild turkeys!!!!  Magnified!!!

So I’ll be back sometime to share all my usual nonsense, hopefully things will calm down around here soon.

Building a Better Mouse Trap

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Here are some of the changes we would like to make to the winter home in Estero. They will all add to function, and I am a fan of functionality!

This is the extent of the kitchen cupboard space in the new house. Seriously. that is it. And not shown on the other side of the fridge, that is not that massively wide in real life, is a pantry with white wire shelving.

Because I am nosey, i looked to see what one might store in those little bitty top cupboards, that many of you short people could not even reach! One had paper plates, another had flashlights. I quit peeking. Basically, not that useful for storage for anything of any sort of big-ness. Large-ness? Heft? Girth? Size? And if we decide to remove that half wall to open up the kitchen, sometime in the future, we would lose 4 skinny cupboards in one fell swoop. So, if you discount them, you have exactly 3 top cupboards to hold dishes, glasses and mugs. Not including the functionally useless skinnys above the microwave and fridge. I’m just going to say it. We require more. OK, I require more. Honey might be able to manage, but he might not. He takes up a considerable amount of our cabinetry with his pills and spices, and he has hogged 4 drawers between the kitchen and laundry room as his own personal junk drawers!!! So clearly, we need some more space!

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When we went to the open house for our house, we also hit some others that were the same models, just to see how they had done things. We saw a few really good ideas that we could try and copy. This was an option. Take out the thin white wire pantry and add this with adjustable shelving. We would most likely use it for non perishable food and bigger pots and Tupperware.

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And this would be IMMENSELY helpful!!! Oh, there’s the thin white pantry, just like we have, on the left. These folk must have had even more Tupperware than I do to require another thin white pantry type thing!!! So ignore that and rest your gaze on the extra cupboards and counter on the back wall!!

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That would make everything SO much better! I then wouldn’t even mind if Honey commandeered a drawer and cupboard!!!

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Here is another idea Honey is going to lift. A door between the spare bedroom and bath to give your guests a little more privacy. Also cut down on morning or evening noise.

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The previous owners were also the original owners. This house is almost 20 years old and I have a question. Where have you been putting your laundry detergent for the last 20 years? I am going to need some sort of cabinet or shelving situation in here. I don’t want to look at that stuff all the time, especially since this room is just to the left of the front door.

There is also a door to the right in this room, with a space behind it. I can’t remember exactly what was there but it did not seem as functional to me as it could be. To be discussed at a later date.

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And last but not least, the extended lanai. The owners had requested and been approved to add on, so Honey made sure that approval would transfer to us. It would expand our entertaining and living space very nicely!

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Well, that’s all we think we need to do! There could be other projects or tweaks, but all in all, we are very pleased 🙂

Missed Moments of 2017

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Hi Guys, have some dribbles of stuff to document for today. Cause that is what this here blog is, documentation of our life.

The Mitten is currently bracing for an unnamed storm that could produce 1 or 12 inches of snow and ice. I heard wild tales earlier in the week, but things were significantly downgraded by yesterday. So really, it could be anything in the whole anything kingdom. It has been a strange week, starting in the negative temperatures last Friday to 57 degrees yesterday. That’s what we natives like to call Pure Michigan. Just like our state slogan proclaims.

Let’s go back to last fall when we had kinder, gentler temperatures. Our neighbor Karen texted this picture of a most beautimous rainbow directly over our house! The trees were in fine form I must say!

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When The Boy and The Dane were in town last November, they got together with Elyk and The Boy’s former small group leader Mike, from when they were in middle school! All of them have married in the last few years and in a twist of fate, all of them became fathers this year! Just a fun fact here, in the picture they are standing in order of their baby’s birth, with Mike and Jen going first in March, with Elyk and Pug Mama taking second in May, and The Boy and The Dane bringing up the rear in July. What is amusing to me is that they married in the exact opposite order. Of course Elyk’s position remained the same, smack in the middle!

Here the guys are with their offspring!

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When we bought our two new couches, some 3 years ago, we stuck our old ones down the basement in case one of the kids needed them upon setting up their own homesteads. Many parts of our basement contain many similar items kept for the same reason. The Boy and The Dane already have two couches, so they were unlikely to need a third, plus it was not their colors. Mousey claimed one because she is needy and she knows how comfortable they are!

I was telling The Peanuts Champ that a friend’s son was looking for a replacement couch for his that broke. I took pictures and sent them to her with the warning that they were heavy and her son would need to bring help to get it out of the basement. Because Honey is old and tired and while on flat land I can be helpful, I am not a useful engine moving things up a flight of stairs.  The Peanut’s Champ said if things did not work out there, her son Josh might be interested as he was moving out and also needy. The other friend’s son found a couch elsewhere, so Josh came and got ours!

We told him the same thing, bring friends; it’s heavy, so he brought these charming fellows. We also told him how comfy it was, and a great napping couch! The reason I tell you this whole tale is because of the next part, which was so darn cute and resourceful!!

Josh was renting the second floor of a house, and his friends lived on the first floor. He is a math major, so he brought his measuring tape and paper to do math stuff to figure out if they could navigate the couch around a tight turn in the stairway, where it would be hanging over the railing a large percentage! According to their calculations they felt confident they could do it! They sent this picture when they got it in!!!

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Josh is on the right and it was such a pleasure to help him out on his new adventure! He was Mousey’s first best friend as preschoolers and has grown into a fine young man. On a funny note, he did not have a bed for the first little bit after moving in so he slept on the couch. He agreed that it was a good sleeping couch!!! Best of luck Friend! ❤

One of our jobs on the Admin team at BSF is to show the love to our group and children’s leaders. Our normal once a month fellowships are sack lunch affairs, but twice a year, at Christmas and end of year, we do things a little fancier. Our Class Administrator, Trenda, decided we should decorate a little different. I feel the need to insert here that there was not one person on the whole team that felt decorating was their love language!!!!! I was looking on Pinterest for new ideas, and most of them included wooden rounds. The first place I remembered seeing those was at Nurse Lauren’s wedding last fall.

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When I called Rae-Babe to ask about how she put hers together, she graciously offered to let us borrow hers!!! The rounds AND the hurricane globes!!!

I met with Trenda at Michael’s and we picked out a garland that we cut up to use on our 8 tables. She produced evergreen clippings and actual cranberries, I found candles at IKEA and there was a group leader who arrived early who said she LOVED to decorate!!! Thank you Lord, it looked loverly!!! Thanks Rae-Babe for the use of your stuff!

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Enjoy your weekend, I am hunkered down for who knows what!

A List of Things

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Hi Guys. It has taken about 3 weeks to get over The Plague. I did most things that people suggested in an effort to reduce my misery including but not limited to; Emergent-C, a T of honey and a T of apple cider vinegar, TRULY HEINOUS!!!! Folks kept telling me I needed a Hot Toddy, and they had old family recipes, certain liquors and other ingredients they thought worked best. It said online that whiskey was the best thing to help you sleep, so SIGN ME UP.

Honey graciously brought me this. Maybe as an homage to his Canadian roots. Fun Fact: when we lived in Windsor, Ontario, we regularly passed by the place that made this! All I have to say is I will never be an alcoholic. I had to drink that Hot Toddy holding my nose. I did sleep a wee bit better that night. The next night I decided to not prolong my misery of drinking an entire mug of nasty, I just drank the 2 ounces as a shot. The Ab-Cat said she had to see this and proceeded to laugh when I held my nose and threw it back, because I was gagging!

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I just put the bottle in the cupboard above the fridge and called the experiment a dismal failure. But in other news, Honey has contracted some other kind of plague and he had his own Toddy this morning. There was no unpleasant gagging I’m happy to report.

In other news!

THIS is happening!!!! We have lived in our home about 18 years and there has always been an empty field behind us. Our builder told us that a church owned the property, but other than a once a month appointment with a giant machine to cut the grass/weeds, there was never any activity back there. The only time I ever went back there was to stealthily scatter leaves, weeds and other garden debris that caused the bush hog guy no trouble, So basically the point behind our house was a compost area.

We started hearing rumors that the church wanted to sell the property. This caused us mild concern, only because we did not fancy a gas station or something like that back there. We soon heard that another church bought the land, and I actually knew some people who went to that church! My good friend CMB’s parents are in attendance as is the mother of my old friend Suzanne Suzanna Danna, along with others from the church where we all grew up.

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There were starts and delays, rumors of trouble with the city and the county, a sign was posted and then one day there was a fence around the entire property! Then the heavy equipment moved in and now we have a HUGE hole on the other side of our hedge! Since we are getting the retention pond back there, we can only assume that has something to do with the digging.They have been struggling with a lot of rain, so work has been in fits and starts

I don’t know that you can tell, but it’s about a 15 foot hole back there! Honey has been using the noise machine when he sleeps because they are Johnny on the spot at 7 in the morning and don’t knock off until 6. They have holes to dig and dirt to move and as of one day last week, cables to cut!!!!

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We noticed our internet was out, but it is not unheard of to have occasional interruptions over here. When it continued and we did a little investigation, we discovered we had no TV or landline. That seemed fishy. After a conversation with Wowway, it was determined that we, and our neighbor to the south, had no service. They did not call to report it because they conveniently do not live there anymore. The nice Wow guy came out and ran a temporary line until they could bury a line and we were happy to welcome the distraction of cable back into our lives.

This is probably around the time the line was cut, they are mighty close to our box.

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One whole day without internet, tv and phone and I have to say this is how we felt. Thanks Oklahoma Tammy, very timely I must say!!!!!

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Because of Thanksgiving, our BSF class moved to Monday, with an abbreviated leaders meeting earlier than usual and then class right after. It’s a full day, but it works for us. I have been participating in the 7 day, black and white challenge on Instagram, no words, no people and no explanation. This was one of my offerings. As BSFfers, we are known for our ability to make very nice circles. I’m pretty sure it might say that in the Bible. “They were known for their love, and ability to make a great circle”. Or something like that. 😉 Miss May’s circle in the sanctuary.IMG-6079

When the weather turns, this young catten gets very cuddly and needy. He just needs to be touching you. We don’t mind. It’s just a good thing he is so sweet, because he is about 50% trouble. Some days 75.

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Because of the holiday, schedules are all joophered up, in a good way! Plus we are not hosting Thanksgiving, we’re OFF!!!! Therefore, I have a little more time to blob!!!! Planning to be back tomorrow with The Hodgepodge.

An October List

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Keelyody and I didn’t walk today because it was raining cats and dogs, so I have a little extra time to tell you all of these unnecessary things.

I got my hairs cut a few weeks ago.

Mrs. Schmenkman cut it when I was in Virginia in May, and it grew out beautifully! She will be in town at the end of the month, but we have a wedding next weekend and I was unfortunately becoming unsightly. I am glad she is coming for many reasons, but one reason is because it could use a little “tweaking”. I don’t know how all of you nonprofessionals do it, Schmenky and I always have to TWEAK! But all in all, I can make it work.

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Honey and The Boy enjoy these Bear Paw slippers. They are actually rather particular about them. I first found them for a bargain price at a TJ Maxx or a Marshalls and bought 2 pair. Honey immediately loved them but The Boy said he didn’t need them, so I returned his. He then realized the error of his ways and wore Honey’s when he could. They are evidently very comfy.

When The Boy went away to college, Honey gave him his old ones, as he was on his second pair. Which, by the way, I never could find again at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for a bargain price, and had to resort to paying bigger dollars for them at Famous Footwear.

When The Boy came home for visits, he brought the Bear Paws, which by then were being held together by duct tape. I think he even said he was wearing them outside the home. So for Christmas several years ago they both received a new pair of the Paws. I don’t know The Boy’s slipper situation at the moment, but I have made the decision for Honey that it’s time to break down and use the newbies. Mainly because he is unknowingly leaving pieces of cracked sole all over the house. I call it an executive decision, because he keeps saying his old ones are FINE. They will be relegated to outside use only, where he can litter sole pieces without judgment.

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Well worn, well loved. What the heck is coming out of the back end of those puppies??? RIP beloved Paws.

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Honey was laid off the week before last! I KNOW!!!! WE couldn’t believe it either! We were so excited! Unfortunately his back was also laid off and he didn’t get to 3/4 of what he would have liked to accomplish. But towards the end of the week, after some loving attention from massage therapist Mousey, he arose and went outside to help put the outside stuff away in preparation for winter. Goodbye summer friends. The pool has been closed over a month, so the watering had been sporadic, it was time.

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Even though it has been flat out HOT up here in The Mitten for a sweet FOREVER, I am hopeful that fall is coming. Sometime. So I swapped the spring wreath off the front door for the autumn and hauled up some decorations in a show of good faith that it would actually happen this month. Seymour loves a little redecorating, he was all over it.

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I should git, we are having a small group kick off dinner tonight and every single thing needs to be done in preparation. Have a fine fall weekend. Even if you are sweating.