Category Archives: trips

Bonita Beach

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I mentioned that my friend CMB and her daughter visited us when we were in Florida. We tried for a sunset one evening and we got a pretty good one! We have always liked Bonita Beach and we certainly got lucky finding a parking place on the first try. One small upside of all of this Covid stuff, Florida was not SWAMPED with snowbirds and visitors.

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We did some walking, some shelling, some picture taking.

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It was a beautiful night.

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The only time in 6 weeks Honey and I made it to the beach! We tried again when Mousey was down but were not as fortunate in the parking situation, so we settled for ice cream.

I like his face ❤

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God is a wonderful Maker.

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Florida!

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We thought we were going to be spending a couple months in Florida this winter, but that guy I married? Yeah, still not retired. He thought last year was going to be his last. He now says he will be done on or before January 1, 2020. It will happen some time, so I am just continuing on with our life, knowing that it will be a nice surprise when it finally arrives 😉

We did get down to our home in Estero for a couple of weeks though. I was a little bossy about the weeks, I knew the other Capri’s were planning on being at Capri P’s place on North Captiva Island the last week of February, so our trip needed to begin or end with that week.

We had a little trouble getting out of The Mitten due to an untimely bomb cyclone and Frontier Airlines cancelling our flight after we were already at the airport. By the way Frontier, still waiting for that notification!!! We were fortunate that Spirit Airlines had a flight to Ft Myers just a little later and were able to accommodate a lot of us disgruntled Frontier fliers. The two airlines had a difference of opinion on checked baggage weight, so we had a hurried rearranging of 10 pounds from my to be checked bag to our carry ons. Good thing we had room there! And off we went!

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We had planned to pick up our rental car and then stop for dinner, but our Spirit flight arrived a some later so we just went to our friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, did some shopping and had our first vacation meal at our place 🙂

Hello Cheeto’s, my vacation friend! Sourdough ham, cheese and egg sandwiches, YUM.

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We heavily used that Wal-Mart. Good grief, sometimes twice a day! Until we get our place situated, we seem to have many needs.

The weather was B-eautiful!!! One of the reasons we loved this community so much was it had a lovely pool and clubhouse. The last time we drove through with our realtor, we discovered there was a satellite pool at the other end of our street! I am here to tell you we have still never been to that big, beautiful main pool, we love this one, and it’s plenty big.

This was our “spot” for two weeks. There were never more than a handful of folks there at any given time. The constants were Elvis and Priscilla, 12-2, like clockwork 🙂

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On Wednesday we drove to Capri P’s marina and were picked up by Capri’s L and D and their honeys, Mr C and BFG!!! They shuttled us over to her island in style! Honey made us fresh fish and shrimp tacos and then the guys went fitchin’ and we gals talked and Schmenky and I cut hairs, because we wuz shaggy! The island was beautimous, as usual and old friends are even more so.

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We left a little early due to a possible weather event, but they dropped us off and got home safely.

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So glad we were able to visit!

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The Ab-Cat had been sending us the news from home. She had a needy cattan who couldn’t seem to get close enough to satisfy his need for attention.

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Snap chats with MoonPie!

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There’s our girls ❤

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On Saturday we drove back out to Capri P’s marina to pick up Mrs Schmenkman and Mr C, who had a super early flight the next morning and needed a lift to the airport. They became our first official overnight guests!

After being down a week, we finally got together with Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Bob. They had been over on the other side of the state grandparenting their littles 🙂

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And later that night we picked up Miss Mousey-Ann from the airport!! She is our vacation buddy 🙂

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Her idea of a great vaca is logging many hours soaking up the sun at the pool. She fit right in with Elvis and Priscilla! She swam and read her World War 2 book. She is eclectic. One day it was a little chilly, early 60s. We packed up to go to the pool as usual, knowing that the pool area is fairly protected from the wind and the sunshine was warm, and I kid you not, we passed residents walking their dogs in FULL ON coats!!! They were probably thinking we were crazy tourists.

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Honey slid right into that retirement mode. Puttering around the house, lounging at the pool,

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fitchin’ in the ditch behind the pool. He did not catch any but some big birds caught a few!

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We then proceeded to eat and shop and visit with Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis.

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Selfies are always a trial for us.

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Don’t remember what caused this fracas!

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Thanks for taking me on vacation Honey!

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We tried it again outside. It’s debatable which group shot is best, although Honey commented on this one his eye was doing that strange Marty Feldman thing that it did one time when we had a family picture taken for our church directory!!! It’s never happened before or since!

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Now both eyes are looking straight on!

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Way too soon it was time to go. We love our place.

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We gave it one last try at the airport, It’ll do pig, it’ll do.

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Florida 2019 is in the books and on the blog!

BSF Leaders Retreat 2018!

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I can’t let 2018 slide into 2019 without getting these pictures and thoughts down in a post! I was going to use the thankfulness prompt of the word Experience on November 15 to document our BSF Leaders Retreat to Cincinnati, Ohio last March 16-18, but then that little GrandGirl came and I got busy 🙂

It was an EXPERIENCE, that’s for sure! Over 4000 women and men from our surrounding states, united by our love for the Lord and our leadership in this wonderful, worldwide organization! It felt a little like the end of an era, they probably won’t be doing retreats on this scale in the future due to size and cost, they will most likely go the way of more localized simulcasts where leaders can gather and eat, but be close enough to sleep in the comfort of their own homes.

I am going to put names to the lovely souls that I serve with, because while I know each and every sweet smile now, I have been around long enough to know that sometimes when our precious sisters in Christ move on from our ministry, we never see each other again. Which always makes singing “God Be With Us ‘Til We Meet Again” on the last leaders meeting for the year so WRENCHING!.

God be with you till we meet again;
When life’s perils thick confound you;
Put His arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

We rented a bus to tote us down because fellowship is our favorite! Loaded up with our leaders, luggage, sack lunches, snacks to share, and a restroom in the back, we talked and laughed and took Enneagram and Meyer Briggs personality tests all the way down I-75!

This is my good buddy Sarah! She is on Admin too and we spend a lot of time hauling chairs, fielding questions, running around and exchanging prayer requests. She comes with her spunky son Davis, who is also a member of Admin and he has a nametag to prove it! He’s a helper! Carrying parking lot cones, holding the door and welcoming the ladies, making circles of chairs, he’s your guy! I introduced Sarah to Snapchat and we sent some videos to her kids to let them know she was missing them 🙂

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Welcome to Cincinnati!

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Jip the Farm Dog, Sarah and Capri Kel 🙂

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Marilyn, Sally and me, again.

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Mary, May and Yvonne ❤

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Marilyn, Sarah and I were thick as thieves this trip.

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Suzie Palmer Weber!!! And Barb!

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One of my favorite memories of the trip involved Barb. Honey was also in attendance with his men’s class, but we were not able to find each other too much. For one of the sessions we did end up in the same section, but he was a few rows behind us. Barb ended up sitting next to him that time and she was saying something to the gal she was with about poutine, which is the Canadian specialty of fries with gravy and cheese curds. At this point, Honey chimed in saying he loved poutine! They had a little conversation and discovered they both hailed from Canada, knew some of the same places, and both lived in the same town in Michigan! Barb then asked his crossroads and asked if we knew her friends who lived on the same street, Honey said he did, they lived across the street! Barb then said, Oh, you must know Kelly! Honey said I do, she’s my wife!!! The realization on her face was SO FUNNY!

This group was such a treat! The gal in the middle is our former Teaching Leader Cicella, who now works at BSF Headquarters in San Antonio! She was there and we met up with Suzie Palmer Weber! and Pam, both former leaders in our class who are now part of other classes! Jip and I are on the other side. So good to see them ❤

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There was a line to get a picture of Suzie Rowan, executive director of BSF. I didn’t get in on it, but some did!

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Sarah. Lisa, Michelle, Suzie and Diana!!! Suzie Rowan Y’ALL!!!

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Denise, YuLing, Marilyn, Pam, Sarah, Jip, Capri K and Dorothy.

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Our 2017-18 Admin Team, with our Teaching Leader Jip. Sarah, Jip, Sandra, Trenda and me.

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This is my Dorothy. When she sees me she says “there’s my Kelly” and I say “there’s my Dorothy”! She’s my favorite ❤

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Trenda was in the gluten free dining room and texted that she was in DIRE need of some protein because they equated gluten free with being a vegetarian, so Jip found some unclaimed poultry for her and the other GF crowd!

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Me, Sarah, Adell, Melissa and Sandy.

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That selfie stick was giving us grief! Michelle, Pam, Trenda, Lisa Bell, me, Sarah, Diana and Lisa.

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It took a burst of about 60, but we got it!

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Look! There’s Honey! And Diana!

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Diana used to be on Admin, she always claims, “once on admin, always on admin”. She is very suchy muchy! ❤

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Joined by our favorite Farm Dog.

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Jip and I roomed together for the umpteenth time, and the party was in our room! Sandy, Sarah, Trenda, Jip, Lisa Bell, me and Melissa.

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in between the bus rides there were awesome speakers encouraging us to magnify God and mature His people, engage the culture while standing strong for Christ, why community matters and making people a priority. We need to be spiritually fit and find our identities in Christ alone, looking at our BSF lessons as heart work, not homework. and making it our life goal to be light to a dark culture.

Before we knew it we were back on the bus heading for The Mitten. Yvonne, me and Sarah.

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There was still a lot of conversation and laughter, but we had been changed by all we had heard. Pam and Melissa.

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Yvonne, Marilyn and Mary.

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Diana, Wendy, Barb, Emily and Patti.

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I consider serving at BSF these last 16 years to be one of my greatest blessings from a really good God ❤ Bible Study Fellowship has changed the trajectory of my life. Me, Sarah, Marilyn and Sandra.

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BSF is 2 years into a 5 year plan of change. Many things have changed as we seek to become more user friendly to millennials and the tech savvy crowd, less focused on guidelines (rules!) and more interested in extending grace and love, they have even altered what a traditional class and community looks like with the addition of satellite and virtual discussion groups. They cited a 2015 Barna study by Navigators that Christians rated BSF as the best organization enabling discipleship. That was the mantra all weekend. “Magnify God and mature His People” They continue to stand in the fight for Biblical understanding by engaging the culture for Christ.

I am proud to be a small part of such a God honoring organization.

Honey and I were tired from a hectic and full weekend. Someone was glad to see us.

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I missed him too ❤

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I encourage any of those unfamiliar with BSF to head on over to their website and see if there is a class near you.  bsfinternational.org and go to find a class near you. It will change your life ❤

Unexpected Moon!!

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I realize I got off track from my thankfulness agenda, but it was for a very good reason!! We had an unexpected visit from Moonpie and her folks!

The Boy and The Dane were ready to move on from their position in Seattle, Washington, and they decided to look for employment in The Mitten! He was looking for a church to hire him on as a youth pastor, and he had gotten to the point in the interviewing process where they decided to fly him out to meet in person. Because he was providing his own lodging and car (ours!), they told him they would fly The Dane in too! And that means Moonpie is a freebie! A wonderful surprise 🙂  ❤

They took the redeye from SeaTac, thinking that would be the easiest for Moon. It was most likely the right choice but they had a sassy, complaining gal in the row behind them who will forever and always be referred to as Ear Plug-Wino. We picked them up a little after 6 a.m. and they were so tired they passed on breakfast at their beloved Coney Island so they could have a nap before they started their extremely heavy itinerary with the church!

Moonpie had a little reintroduction chocolate Cheerio’s snack with her Papa first. It had been a whole year since they had bonded over his famous balloon noises. She seems to really enjoy Facetiming with Grammy and Papa, and it sure helped when we were face to face! She remembered me from my visit in July ❤

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She was checking him out, and he spent the rest of the weekend trying to get her to say PAPA, super loud! He was successful!

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They did some light reading. Animals, colors, the usual.

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She woke up from her nap happy and Grammy was so glad to see her girl!

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She was saying “awwww”, heart melted 🙂

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She had not seen The Ab-Cat in a year either. Ab took delight in introducing her to some of the videos her kids enjoy in the young five program at her school. Ba-by Shark doo doo da doo ta doo!

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Maybe a little jet lagged, but could kiss that little face all the live long day!

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She is getting so tall, even since the summer!

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Mousey had a pretty heavy work schedule but she was around when she could be. My two beebees 🙂

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The kids had a full weekend of interviewing, meetings, coffees, housing look-sees, dinners and ending with youth group on Sunday night. They decided to leave Moonpie with us on Saturday, which was the fullest day, and on Sunday morning. She went to dinner with the staff and met the kids at youth group. We were happy as clams!

Was glad to see she liked the toys we have been saving in the future Grandchildren area of our basement! She tasted every morsel of the fake food :/

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Was a diligent mama to the naked baby doll..

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Had a great time with our own resident toddler whisperer!

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Awwwww.

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She was very interested in our own teenage catten. He reciprocated the interest, and for the most part, was a gracious host.

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She likes to feed and water her people.

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With GUSTO!

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He was strangely obsessed with being near, but inaccessible.

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She quite enjoyed rides in the wheelchair, as all children do. Honey tried to get her to call Abby “Aunt Wheels”. I don’t think it’s going to stick.

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Fond of hair.

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And kisses ❤

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A quiet minute selfie.

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More LIT-erature 🙂

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Peek-a-boo, I see you!

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They are fast friends ❤

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They lovin” Finally got to the Coney Island in between church and youth group. The Dane and Moonpie stayed home to nap. I’m sure the weekend was grueling for her and her 30 some odd week tummy. The only picture I took of The Boy all weekend!

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One of the things I love about our baby is she is not at all strange with folks she doesn’t know! They think it’s because of their job. She even was happy to sit on The Usher’s lap for a spell. Do any of you long time Readers remember The Usher? Yeah, he has been spending time over here again with Mouse Ann. They are “talking”. Not dating, because she has sworn off that until 2019.

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She just made herself at home.

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After youth group on Sunday night the pastor offered The Boy the position!!!! He said their board voted unanimously to hire him, and they would love for them to be an addition to their staff!

Before we knew it, Monday’s flight back was waiting. 😦  Grammy is sure gonna miss her Moonpie ❤

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Her Mama bundled her into the back of Juanita, and I sincerely apologize to The Dane for this sparkling beauty picture, but it was ALL I HAD!

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I see that little smile ❤ ❤ ❤

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They will be coming back for good on January 24, 2019, HAPPY NEW YEAR for us!!!!!!!

Place-Washington State

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What I am most thankful for here is that this PLACE has NOT experienced the giant earthquake that The Boy told us could happen ANY DAY NOW!!! I guess they are overdue and the carnage of the ensuing tsunami would supposedly wipe out Seattle, and Y’All, The Boy and The Dane and little Moonpie live just on the other side of Seattle! Since they will hopefully be back in The Mitten within the next few months, they will hopefully dodge that awful bullet!

I told you that I would find a way to weasel our Washington trip onto this month of thankfulness, and here we are! Mousey and I left Detroit-Metro Airport at the crack of dawn on July 14. We flew Spirit, which is a whole different sort of animal than we are used to! After Honey dropped us off at the North Terminal, we entered into a swarm of people, lines everywhere. We waited in our first line to check our luggage, You would think waiting in the line would be the long part. You would be wrong. The lady checking our bags could not get her machine to work, so she kept trying. And trying. She shut it down and rebooted the system. Nothing. I was praying for Holy Spirit intervention here because the security line was getting longer. And longer. After about a half hour she finally asked the man working next to her to print out our tapes for the luggage, which is what I wanted to do for THIRTY PREVIOUS MINUTES, and closed her window!! Thank you next door co-worker!

We then raced over to security to wait  in a loooong, snaking line that ate up another half hour and where we had plenty of time to worry that we might have needed to be at the airport TWO hours before our flight! I was TSA approved, but Mousey was not, so I waited with her, no sense me making the flight if she did not! When we got closer to the inspection, we understood a little why the line was so long, there was a TSA agent who was snarkily giving mixed instructions, that was causing people to do the wrong things, and when people questioned him he gave them condescending answers. Mousey said if she hadn’t been worried that we might miss our flight, she would have had a snarky comment or two for him. Finally we got to the front where Mouse was waved through, but then we saw them carry my purse over to another counter. I was getting a little freaked out by this because no one said anything to me for some time until I said HEY what up with my purse!!! Of course I didn’t say that, but I wanted too. Wouldn’t you think they might mention that they were going to look through it instead of letting me think that someone stole it??!! An agent finally brought it over to look through and he asked me if I had a fan in there. As a matter of fact, my post menopausal self did have a metal folding fan. He opened it up and waved me through. What the actual heck?

Our original plan was to arrive, saunter through security, have a leisurely breakfast once in the terminal, and then board our flight. None of that happened. We split up after security because I needed to use the restroom, and Mousey went and stood in ANOTHER long line at McDonalds. I also had to wait in line at the restroom and I foolishly thought we might meet up together after. I walked back to McDonalds to see her still at the counter where she waited, and waited. Finally someone noticed she had been there a long time and asked to see her receipt number and said they had been calling the wrong number. How does that even happen??!! They gave her the bag with her correct number and we hightailed it to our gate where our flight had been boarding. We thought we were the last people to board until another couple ran in. They were probably in that McDonald’s line!! Then they closed the door and we left. Sheesh!!!

We made it!

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The Boy picked us up a little after 8 in the morning their time, and then the rest of the post will be full of pictures of our sweet little Moonpie!

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that Moonpie and I were usually the first ones up and I brought her over to the “girls dorm” where Mousey and I entertained her and introduced her to Pringle’s, Cliff bars, and our other snacks!

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She liked Mousey’s phone and they had a photo session.

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Selfie, or Us-ie!

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My two Beebees ❤ ❤

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Since The Dane had been feeling pretty rough before we arrived, we assured them we had no plans to do anything, just wanted to hang out and get to know Moonpie! We went to Maggie Moos for ice cream, and to The Boy’s favorite 1/2 price book store.

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Mousey and I were trying to get a selfie/us-sy,

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when we realized we had a trio going!

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How big are you? SOOOOO BIG!!!

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She was most entertaining at Uneeda Burger,

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mostly just hanging out, eating lemons, as you do 🙂

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She is a huge fan of the lemon.

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At the park, being thrown high by her Dad.

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This is one of her big ‘’”brothers” who live in the house. His name is Kaleb and he loves her a bunch!

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She is purty fond of him as well!

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Another big “brother”, Vincent.

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More lemons!!!

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Mousey and I introduced her to our family favorite, Raffi. She liked to watch him on my phone.

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She must have been ready for a nap, she looks mighty relaxed!

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Awww, love her little smile here.

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We went to an outlet mall and I believe this may have been her first horse ride.

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It was very unimpressive. And I think it cost a lot of money! You can ride Sandy up at our friendly neighborhood Meijer for a penny and she has more action than that tired steed!!

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Mousey was way more exciting!

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Family photo ❤

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Can you ever get enough sugar off your grandbaby?

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The Boy took us to a thrift shop that Mousey scored at! She bought a bunch of stuff for her winter wardrobe! We mostly talked, ate and watched the antics of the baby.

That was the first half of our trip, Mousey went home before I did. I have another post but I’m not sure I can stick it in this month of thankfulness, but just know another picture heavy post is coming!

Person-Moonpie

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I am barely making it on the first day of Thankfulness!! I’ve been gone all day but I am tryin’ to be all committed here so LET’S GO!

Today I am thankful for little Moonpie, who I was able to get to know much better this past August! It’s hard being an across the country Grammy and Papa. Honey and I flew out to Seattle last August when she was one month old. That was pretty special and we enjoyed meeting her! Our second meeting was exactly a year ago today, when The Boy and The Dane flew home for a visit! Unfortunately I got sick the very next day and coughed my dang head off the entire time. I banned myself from touching her in an effort to contain the contagion.

We saw her on Facetime, and I have never been so thankful for technology 🙂  But she really didn’t know who we were, except she likes loud, and Honey is LOUD. So she kind of liked those loud people.

I didn’t know what to expect when Mousey and I flew out to Seattle this past August. I asked the Lord to incline her heart to us, and in His great mercy, He did! She was not one bit strange with us, let us pick her up and give her loves, and just all around acted like she was fond of us! This was the afternoon we arrived, that’s a happy Grammy!

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You think you will forget all those things that you do with little ones, but they all came flooding back. It’s been 10 years since Little Goomba was this age, but there was only a tiny bit of dust on all the songs, noises, and all around baby interacting.

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We so enjoyed carrying her and holding her on our laps. I am an early riser and some days she was too. In an effort to give her tired folks a break and let them sleep in, I would get her up and bring her back to our room that we called “the girls dorm”. She LOVED it over there! We shared our treats with her, played with her babies, taught her to raise her hands up high when we asked her how big she was, and introduced to her to a family favorite; Raffi!

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I felt like we got to know her sweet little personality so much better.

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I also saw a lot of her Dad peeking out in all kinds of situations! She so reminds me of him here!

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It’s funny when you remember your kids doing the same things! Our beebees were also known for loving lemons AND pickles! I don’t think we gave her one of those.

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The laundry basket, one of the best toys ever.

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I mentioned to The Boy that I knew I was a Grammy, but this was the first time I really felt like one. It was like Grammy Immersion! She may not have understood who I was, but she knew me! And as a wonderful blessing, she now remembers me on Facetime!!! We go through all the fun things we learned together, she makes the faces, blows kisses, loves on her babies and says awwww, and throws her precious little arms in the air when I ask her how big she is!! We have a connection!

After I had been home a week or so The Boy sent this picture that I LOVE. He said every time she was able, she made a beeline to the girls dorm looking for us! How cute is that?!

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Oh sweet baby grandgirl, Grammy is thankful for for you! ❤

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 🙂

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! ❤

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys! Long time, no blog!! Glad to be back, here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What’s something in your house you’d like to get rid of but can’t?

Well, they are not in our house, but just outside. I dislike our brick paver patio and path. The installer did not do a great job in the first place, they have moved a LOT, and I feel one should not have to weed their brick pavers. The reason I can’t get rid of them is simple. Honey does not want to. He clearly does not dislike them as much as I do, but I think he mainly would not like to pay to have more concrete poured. I console myself with the knowledge we will most likely be moving in the next few years.
2. When is the last time you experienced a sense of nostalgia? Elaborate.

Yesterday. The girls and I went to a thrift store in our area because we had a half off coo-pin, I always enjoy the music at this store and as we shopped the song Rock and Roll, Hoochie Coo came on and I told the Girls that song always reminded me of a movie they loved when they were younger, What A Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes. We had a laugh remembering her dad Colin Firth squeezing himself into old leather pants from his heyday, jamming out to that song on air guitar. Ah, good times 🙂
3. You’re only allowed three apps on your smart phone or tablet…which three do you keep?

Facebook, Words With Friends and Pinterest.
4. July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Who knew? Do you like blueberry muffins? If you were going to have a muffin would blueberry be your choice? What’s the last thing you baked?

I did not know! I do like blueberry muffins and it might be my choice depending on the other choices. It would definitely lose to a homemade pumpkin chocolate chip muffin! The last thing I baked was a coconut pound cake on Father’s Day. It’s one of our family  favorites and it was yummy.
5. What’s the biggest way you’ve changed since you were a child? In what way are you still the same?

I have been sitting here thinking about this for quite a while. At first I though of silly ways I have changed, I no longer suck my thumb, I’m a lot taller! But I think the real answer is more that I was fairly insecure. There was some upset in my younger years that had ripple effects throughout my life. My parents divorced, there were remarriages, new families, old families with different dynamics, confusion with how things worked, uncertainty as to where I fit in, a longing for things to be different, general angst of youth mixed in for good measure. Fast forward about 45 years and I have felt secure for many, many years. I credit my Heavenly Father, and my sweet, wonderful, funny Honey and our family.

And I still love Laura Ingalls Wilder 🙂 Nothing new there!

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I think I could be a better blogger if I would just stay home for about 5 minutes! I am leaving on my 4th trip this Saturday since the end of May! Virginia, South Haven, Michigan, Florida and next up, Washington state to see our now ONE YEAR OLD Grandgirl!

MoonPie had a birthday party and her Mama made her a yummy cake that she enjoyed very much!

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She was very willing to share.

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She is reminding me of her Daddy here!

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl, Grammy will see you soon!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Memorial Day Hootenanny 2018!

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Hi Guys, long time, no type! I had a delightful time down in Virginia with The Schmenkmans!! I left Detroit Metro Airport with my carryon packed inside my big suitcase, and landed at Dulles International a mere 53 minutes later. It actually took Schmenky longer to get to the airport from her house!

We began with lunch and a little shopping in Manassas, as we do. We discussed goals, a new black purse for her, shoes for me, as usual. And so it began!!!

One of the first places we ate was Spelunkers, in Front Royal!!! I have missed it so!  Delicious cheeseburgers and fries, get in ma belly!!!! I have got to get Honey there!

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So very juicy!

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The end result!

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We were greeted by Miss Miracle upon arriving on Sassy Cat Hill.

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Schmenky was so committed to finding a new pocketbook to replace her tattered, broken zippered Precious, that she threw it away! There was no choice but to find a new one. A moment of silence for Schmenky’s heavily worn handbag. The hunt was on.

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She brought out a red Tiganello beauty she had purchased thrifting one year, which did an admiral job, but it is red, and it does not go with everything. I am sensing familiar territory here 😉  On the bright side, she also found several super cute tops that she could wear with the red pocketbook! It was all good.

We Sweet Frog-ged around but this one in Warrenton was my favorite, it had my 2 favorite flavors, pomegranate AND Key Lime!!!!!!! With crushed waffle cone available, it was a happy day!

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Here are a few of the sassy cats. This is Kismet (aka the Lion King), who was much friendlier with me than he usually is, and Casey Lee Bumgartner who LOOOOOOVES the back of my head!!! I think he has a powerful attraction to Paul Mitchell hairspray, and he loves me up good!

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Poppet, our Precious, wobbly girl 🙂  She never changes, maybe sleeps a little bit more. She is my ever present lap buddy.

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Bitsey Bee, having a sun room nap.

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Schmenky and I enjoyed Spelunkers so much that we talked Mr C into joining us on Sunday afternoon. It was just as yummy the second go round. We really wanted their frozen custard, but alas, no room.

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Next stop, the new Han Solo movie! We all liked it a lot, I have no idea why the critics are dogging it! Honey and the Ab-Cat saw it in The Mitten and had the same favorable opinion. Not sure about the amount of money they expected to make, but pretty sure it did alright for any other movie that was not Star Wars. Give us a break!

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And then we went back to Spelunkers to have that ice cream!!!! No pictures but I am here to tell you it was heartily enjoyed!!!

This is the view out The Schmenkman’s front door. There is always so much green there, beautimous!

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Schmenk had this in her flower boxes, can’t remember what she called it but I am a fan. Like faincy clover.

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The natural arch down to the backside of their property and the chicken coop.

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All the interesting colored foliage.

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Backyard pond. The koi thought I had something for them besides an iPhone taking pictures!

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We cut hair early in the visit because we were both highly in need. It gave us more time for tweaking 🙂

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BOO for having to wait so long to get a haircut!!!

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Sassy haircuts: check!

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AND A SASSY NEW BLACK PURSE-CHECK!!!!!!!!!!!! She found a new Precious at Gabe’s, it’s a Sak and she was very happy!

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The morning routine, with helpers. Checking the stuff, Facebook, playing Words With Friends, Crushing the Candies, you know, the usual.

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The Schmenkman’s have a new sassy since I was last there, meet George Bailey! He found Schmenky on her walking trail. He is a lucky kitty-witty! He reminds me of our Seymour, a feisty, spicy, trouble causing, young boy catten! He lives to jump the others and just generally disrupt their apple carts. Sounds familiar.

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Personality plus, it is their saving grace.

I forgot my selfie stick, so we had to kick it old school and hold it. Before we knew it it was time to pack up all my purties, bargains, and random purchases and head back to Dulles. We had a great time, but once again faced the harsh reality that we are not the spry, all day shoppers we once were! And we are mostly just fine with the realization ❤

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We are SO glad to have each other! I thank the Lord that she answered an ad to work at Images Salon ALL those 30+ years ago so I could have her to love!!! I have known her longer than my kids!!!

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This was George Bailey’s favorite way to greet me, and it served as our goodbye. Loved meeting him!

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The Schmenkman’s are considering moving from Sassy Cat Hill to Sassy Cat Farm, location to be announced when found! So I felt like there was a very real possibility that I may never be on the Hill again 😦  So Schmenky graciously posed on the front porch of their home of many years. Bittersweet to be sure.

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One of my favorite purchases this year was a sassy cement kitty. It was fairly heavy and I was unsure I would have the room or weight allowance in my suitcase. Schmenk said she would bring it to me sometime when she came. I purchased plenty, but I did have some extra room in my carryon, so I packed it on in! I had also bought a salt rock nightlight for the Florida house, that I needed to take out of its box  for space purposes. I didn’t want it to get crushed, so I wrapped it in a bag and stuck it in the hallow inside of the cement cat, then covered the cat with some clothes for protection, and off we went. I wondered if that dang cat was going to get me searched. I went through security myself, all was well. My carryon went through and the gal spent a good bit of time looking at the X-ray, then pulled my bag off the conveyer. Another gal came and told me they were going to run it through again. I said OK, and thought my next move would be over with them to unzip my bag to be searched! I could tell when my bag was again stopped in the machine. Both gals were there looking and talking and one of them stood up and yelled “do you have a light up cat in there?” I laughed and said pretty close!!! They seemed proud of themselves for solving the mystery and passed me through 🙂

I was super glad they wanted us to check our bags at the gate, I wasn’t looking forward to lifting that cement laden carryon into the overhead compartment!!!!

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There she is! My Virginia Sassy cement kitty!!!!! And my BEE-you-tiful peonies from the bush my Mama gave me ❤

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Thanks for having me for the last 23 years Schmenky Catherine, love youuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!