Category Archives: observations

9-Blog/Website

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Today the thankfulness prompt is a tough one. There was a time when I read many, many blogs. I loved hearing what people had to say, their family updates, new projects, vacation pictures, observances, but the type of blogging that was popular when I first started has gotten very quiet. So many have quit blogging entirely, some are more active on Facebook or Instagram and a couple I just didn’t care what they had to say any more. People change and sometimes their content does too. I have 10 blogs listed on my blog roll and only 2 of them blog with any kind of frequency, and one of the 10 is my old shuttered blog that ran out of space. I haven’t added anyone in so long I couldn’t figure out how to do it if I had to!!!

Blogging can be a strange thing. You read about their lives and some you really feel like you know! I have been genuinely sad when some closed up shop. Some explained their reasons for stopping, some just left, a few I seriously wondered if something bad happened in their life, and then found out something did!

Back in the day, I had my favorite blogs earmarked in a favorites file on our computer, now they go to Bloglovin’, and that website is one stop shopping. It tells you if any of the blogs you follow have posted that day, or the previous days, if you don’t check in that regularly. I follow about 37 sites on there, mostly recipe and home improvements, some I like, some I don’t even go to when there is a notification. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised to get a ping from someone who hasn’t posted in a loooooong time and it always feels like a Christmas letter from a long lost friend! I don’t feel all that attached to most but there are still some favorites that I always check because I like their writing, enjoy their humor or their unique way of explaining how they do things.

I narrowed it down to 3 that I most often read.

Young House Love

This couple are my favorite of the “project” bloggers, but I like them for several reasons. Not only do they show you their beautiful work, they explain how and why they do their projects really well, and they both have a fun and clever way of writing it down! Even if I NEVER plan to do anything they are showing me, they make going along for the ride enjoyable! I also like their dog Burger, because who wouldn’t love a little dog named Burger?!

Big Mama

Mrs. Schmenkman sent me a link to this blog about 10 years ago and I have read her ever since. She is a writer of books now and does not do much blogging anymore, but no one tells a story quite like her and I have laughed out loud reading her, and her buddy Boo Mama, countless times! Since both are capital W Writers now and have many speaking engagements a year, I guess we have to be content with reading them in book form. Which I have, and they were delightful 🙂

From This Side of the Pond

Joyce is another one I have read for many years and she is still blogging around her busy life and many trips! She hosted The Wednesday Hodgepodge for years before she finally put it to rest a few months back. I am grateful to her for all the time and effort she expended there, I loved participating! We have a lot in common, faith, birthday, stage of life, both became a Grandma the same summer to grandbabies who live too far away in Washington state! We actually did get together for lunch once when Honey and I were in her neck of the woods, and we both enjoyed getting a tour of the home she and her Hubs were building! I probably feel like I know her better than I actually do because I have followed her life for the last 8 or 9 years, plus read all of her thoughts and memories from the Hodgepodge.

So there you have it, 3 blogs I am thankful for. Give them a whirl 🙂

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6 and 7 Voting

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I find myself a tad behind again, but will catch up here because I am deleting two of the things on the list because they are not speaking to me, and have come up with something that I AM truly thankful for. I really am thankful for shoes and good scents, but I don’t have anything interesting to say about them…at this time 🙂

Today I am thankful to be able to exercise my American right to vote. A right that many in our country take for granted. A right that some humans on our planet do not have.

Mousey and I were watching a program on Netflix last night called Turn, about The American Revolutionary War. Those people were taking risks to change their lives and win freedom and independence, real life and death risks. I am not risking anything to vote, the worst thing I will run into is a long line.

Even though elections in our country have become contentious, for those running and voting alike, it is still important to cast your vote, have your say, choose your candidate and voice your opinion on the ballot issues. I am pretty sure not everyone I know votes the exact same way I will, and I know for a fact that my vote is cancelling out a vote of someone in my own family, but I am grateful for the opportunity to exercise my right. And they will do the same.

Voters 600 and 601 after getting their vote on!

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Oh yes, I will also be thankful that our landline will stop ringing, our message machine will stop filling up and our mail will be free of election flyers!!!

The New Abode

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I believe I mentioned that Honey and I, after years of looking, finally purchased a place in Florida. WOO to the HOO-tie HOO!!!!! We closed the end of March and Honey hired a neighbor man (that we had never met) to go in on a regular schedule to have a look see and flush toilets and such. The Hired Man was a very useful engine, he took some pictures of the homestead, installed a dead bolt, and made a few keys so we could have one up here to ease Honey’s mind. It is a little odd that a fellow we had never met had more access to the place than we did. There can always be an unwanted thought skipping through your brain that you have given access to a shyster and he is hosting wild parties or renting the place out! It was all good and Glen did a fine job 🙂

Honey found out there was a layoff at work in July and said HEY, did I want to go to Florida and do a little work and get the new place a little settled for when we head down there sometime this coming winter? I said sure! We flew into the Fort Myers airport, picked up our rental car, stocked up a few groceries at our friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, punched in the visitor code at the front gate and Presto, we were in like Flynn.

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It was just as we remembered, and we loved it. That’s a good feeling. Honey had some things to take care of that had been uncovered on the home inspection, nothing major. My goal was to paint the spare bedroom and laundry room. The green was far more glowing than this picture presents. This was from the listing and they did an exceptional job of toning it down.

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The rest of the house is decorated very nicely, so this room was an oddity to me. I don’t get the color, the ginormous flower, the dingleballs on the hand painted lamps. The quilt has bathing suits on it and I had a great idea to just flip it over! The other side was flip flops. That’s not going to work either.

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Capri P told me about a color that she was using in her home called Softer Tan by Sherwin Williams. I thought it could be a trial run for my big painting project in The Mitten. The whole time I painted I wasn’t sure if I liked it because the Kryptonite glow from the existing paint was throwing off my groove! See?? It’s weird!!

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I LOVED it once it was completed and the lime residue was removed!! Well, except for that quilt.

So much freaking calmer.

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Onto the laundry room, goodbye pineapples. Honey ended up having to rent a wallpaper steamer from the Home Depot to get it off. It was a HOT, MESSY job in a very tight space. It looked loads better after a coat of Softer Tan as well. Unfortunately, I forgot to take an after picture and I am sorry for you and me both.

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It was our habit to rise, have coffee and tea made in our newly purchased coffeepot and kettle, do the tasks that needed attending to, head out to eat an early dinner and then shop at many stores looking for the things we needed to make our new home comfortable. I joked with Honey that all the shopping we brought home went in cupboards and closets, not much to show for all of our efforts! You could see this little piece we purchased at Homegoods.

I was having many hankerings to buy things up here in Michigan, but Honey said we would just get stuff down there. When I was in Virginia I did get a cute salt nightlight that I thought I could put in the laundry room, so that we would have a soft, calming glow greet us when we returned home in the evenings. Well, there was no plug except the ones being used by the washer and dryer. So much for that. Our next idea panned out better. This little cabinet has a plug behind it and we may or may not have bought a little lamp that we can turn on when we leave. I can’t remember, isn’t that awful?!

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I started collecting the little tchotchkes that were sitting around on all the surfaces, and sticking them on this shelf. I am a fan of functionality and don’t have a ton of use for collectibles. Not everything up here will go, but it was a growing collection!

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I call this Cousin It. It’s a metal plant stand and it is not awful. It may end up out on the lanai with a real plant in it. For now we stuck it in the lovely Softer Tan spare bedroom. Those tall green breakables will most likely be donated.

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There are 4 of these sparkling beauties in the hallway. Coming soon to your neighborhood Goodwill.

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I call this Lady Buttcrack. It’s right inside the front door. For now.

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This is what it did Every.Single.Evening. I had no idea they had a rainy season. Like seriously POURED and stormed.

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We went to one of our favorite places and staged a picture to send to Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis, because they like to go there too when in town.

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We found a new place that we liked a LOT! Mission BBQ in Fort Myers. Good food, super nice employees and decorated with patches from all manor of military, police and fire responders. We will be back!

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We met several neighbors who gave us the scoop on the previous owners (wonderful folks!) and the neighborhood in general (very friendly!). There are a lot of original owners on our street. We met the neighbor behind us who said she called us the Phantom Family because no one knew anything about us! She was very excited to see our lights on. We met a lot of neighbor dogs, Hannah, Danny, Jose Cuervo. It was a good trip.

I think we are going to like it there 🙂

Stuff I Am Liking

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This post has been in the drafts box for some time, I just keep adding to it. Here are a few things that I am especially liking these days.

I was having a big problem with dry skin earlier this winter, I am prone to this, but it was particularly annoying because my face was so itchy. Abby’s former dermatologist had recommended CeraVe lotion, because she is a Sahara herself. She had a very good response to the lotion, and when she was looking for a new face wash decided to try theirs. When I was complaining about my distress, she let me try her new product, that she was liking a LOT. Within a few days my itchy dry face was gone, and I am now a satisfied customer!

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I think I must have read about this or Mousey (my personal cosmetics information guide) told me about it, but wherever it made itself known, I think it has been helpful. I purchased it from Better Health, and the gal who helped me find it said this was a good brand, so I went with it. I put it on my clean, dry, skin after I clean it with the CeraVe and my Clairsonic Mia. Just a light layer under my eyes, and everywhere else, focusing extra around my mouth and chin. Because seriously, where did all those lines come from??!! I’m not kidding, it looks like I have some sort of snake bite scars! I do wash off the excess with a warm wash cloth just before bed so it doesn’t just end up on my pillow case. My skin remains soft and hydrated after.

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Here are three more skin related tidbits, to be worn together. For the last few years the majority of my skin care questions to Mousey have been about old skin. This has caused her to have to research, because she is not old.

I have never been a connoisseur of pricey makeup. I don’t think I have ever ventured out of the isles of Meijer, Target or CVS for any cosmetics. Until the last few years, I had never even worn moisturizer on my face. In the summer i wore a little powder, bronzer as blush, eyeliner and mascara. At some point I started recognizing that the old grey mare (literally and figuratively) just ain’t what she used to be. I needed some kind of regimen.

Enter Olay Pro X. Welcome to the family. I think Capri P may have told me about this. I started to feel a little better about my hide. Now I realize that in the scope of products, these are probably reasonable, but having never worn any such stuff, I had a little sticker shock. They have lasted a long time though.

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And then Mousey found me this at Ulta, one of her favorite stores. Having already been broken down with the price of the afore mentioned moisture, I just took her advice and grabbed it. We did have a coupon, that made it easier to bear. And I will say that this is the second winter I have used the same tube and there is still a ton left.

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The other thing I use to make myself presentable is from Arbonne. I really like their loose powder. It sets the foundation nicely and gives your face a nice glow. That sounds really dumb, but I don’t want to look like matte Hag Barbie. I have also used their bronzer as blush for years now. I buy these products from Mrs. Schmenkman’s darling niece. Funny story, she works at a nearby city hall. When my order arrives she texts me and we arrange a time to meet in her parking lot. She tells me to park by a side door then she comes out and we exchange a check for the goods. I told her feel like we are conducting illicit business!!!!

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So there you have it, what it requires for me to look presentable these days!

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 🙂

Schnibbles

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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!

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!