Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Preparations

I happened to come in early today here at work, and thought I'd squeeze in a quick blog update before I start at 9 a.m.

Thanksgiving wasn't a whole lot of fun at our house this year because our daughter, grandson, and I were all sick! We had to stay home, and we totally missed all of the festivities including 2 family dinners. Darn it. At least my hubby was able to attend both meals and was kind enough to bring us all home plates full of the Thanksgiving fixins so we could enjoy them too. Thankfully, the 3 of us are feeling better now, and we're certainly hoping we'll be able to enjoy the upcoming Christmas family gatherings!

I can't believe it's December already. Only 3 weeks left until Christmas. This year has certainly flown by!

It seems like only yesterday that our grandson was born in May of this year, and now he'll be 7 months old on December 10th. We are truly enjoying watching him learn new things every day and he brings so much joy into our lives. :-)

Tom enjoyed his hunting trip in mid-November, but he didn't get anything. His oldest brother got one though. I don't know how anyone can shoot a Bambi. They are just such gorgeous animals.

How are all of you doing on your Christmas shopping? We haven't even started yet, but that's par for the course for us. Seems like we always have to wait until December 15 or later for some extra money to roll in. Or maybe it's not extra. It's more like we put off a couple of bills until January so we can have Christmas money. LOL Yep, that sounds more like us.

We'll be going to cut down our Christmas tree on December 9 at a tree farm about 1.5 hours north of our house. Jason, Angela & Dante will be going with us. A friend recommended this place as they have beautiful trees (all firs) that are really affordable--all trees only $40. This will be the first time in probably 3 years we've put up a tree as we've always been too worried that our 3 cats would knock it over. We're still worried about that now, but with a grandson in the picture, we want him to experience seeing a decorated and lit tree in our house. Also for him to find his gifts beneath it on Christmas morning. We'll just have to tie some twine to the walls or ceiling in order to keep the cats from knocking it over.

That's the latest news at our house! Hope things are going well at yours!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dante Meets a Calf

OK. It's been a quite a while since I've had time to sit here and post again, darn it. Sorry about that. Life can get pretty busy when you have 4 adults and a baby living in the same house, and all of the adults work (and we are short 1 vehicle). Lots of communication and compromise occurring on a daily basis, that's for sure!

I was just thinking earlier that our living room now looks like a kid's playroom. It's dimensions are 12' x 22' and 1/2 of it looks like a living room; the other half is so full of Dante's toys, bouncy chairs, rockers, swings, etc. that I can hardly reach the chains on our door wall blinds to close them. We need a bigger house! No, wait. We need our house back to ourselves. Yeah...that's the ticket. We need to go back to being empty nesters! I can't see that happening before next summer, but I DO know that if/when the kids move out, we will miss baby Dante to pieces. That kid just lights up our lives. :-)

Speaking of the little squirt...he turned 6 months old yesterday. I can hardly believe it. And that kid is ROCK SOLID too. Not fat, but just plain solid. He can already stand up with us just keeping our hands at his sides (so he doesn't lose his balance and topple And he still smiles ALL THE TIME. It's amazing. You just talk to him and he lights right up. He even laughs when either of our dogs walk by him. He just LOVES those puppies! We can see he is going to be an animal lover just like his mamma (and grandma and grandpa).

And speaking of animals...Angela has been at her new job for 7 weeks now, and still loves it there (and they love her too). FINALLY! Yay! Her bosses have met with the vet/owner a few times and told him how she's doing a wonderful job, and pretty much has everything down pat already. We have yet to hear her say a bad word about the job or any of her co-workers, and that is HUGE. They are all so nice to her. And her anxiety isn't an issue at this place either as she is so much calmer now. Woo hoo!

Nothing is new with Tom's job. He still has almost no work to do, so we're waiting for the hammer to fall. It would stink if they laid him, and others, off right at Christmas, wouldn't it? Still, in this economy, it wouldn't surprise us.

So what have we been up to lately? Lots of family time (as usual)--my side, Tom's side, the river family and our church family. There's always something going on.

The third weekend in October Tom, Dante & I met my brother and his wife and kids at a cider mill that was almost an hour away from our house. (There are closer ones. I have no idea why my brother wanted to go to this particular one.) We enjoyed the usual donuts and cider, and inside one pole barn there was a pretty good band playing. The best part was watching Dante interact with all the animals. My fav pic is the one below as he reaches out to the baby calf, and the calf stretches her neck out to reach him. (I told ya he loves animals!) Of course, he was so shocked to see such a big "DOG" walk up to him that he instantly dropped his pacifier in the grass, and then the calf put her tongue under the fence and tried to eat it. LOLOL

I've also posted a pic of Tom & me (below) taken at the cider mill. All I can say in my defense is, the wind was blowing quite strongly; hence my bangs are standing straight on end. Enough said. :-)

The last Saturday in October my family got together for a pizza dinner/potluck to discuss Thanksgiving plans and draw names for the Christmas gift exchange. My family has gotten into the habit of celebrating Thanksgiving on the Saturday after Thanksgiving so that none of us have to try to eat 2 dinners on Thanksgiving Day (since we are all married and have in-laws' houses to visit on Thanksgiving Day).

I worked as a cashier for kitchen concessions during our church's Craft Show/Bake Sale the weekend before last. That's always a good time. Tom & I also worked before and after the Show to set up tables, then take down and clean up. The Show seemed to be a success.

Tom & I got together with our river family last night just to hang out and catch up with each other. Each couple attending usually brings something "hors 'deouvres-y" which results in some yummy after-dinner munchies. The conversation was great, and we all laughed so hard that at times my face was starting to hurt. Those people are crazy!!! LOL The nice thing is they're all about our age (50's and 60's), so we can relate to quite an array of topics.

This afternoon, Tom's family got together at a local Catholic church as the newest member of his family--baby Anthony Michael--was baptized. Seven children in total were baptized, and they all looked so adorable in their baptismal and "Sunday best" outfits. Baby Anthony didn't cry at all when the water was poured over his head 3 times. Afterward, we all went back to Mike & Sarah's (the parents') house for a meal. Mike & Sarah are the niece and nephew who purchased that 100-year-old white farmhouse I wrote about last year. Anyway, there was a nice mix of family members from both Sarah & Mike's side and the food was really good too! Sarah's family had come in from places like Connecticut (her home state) and Florida to be with them on this special day, and to see Anthony for the first time.

My hubby and his brothers and nephews all leave for deer hunting this Tuesday. He won't be back home until Saturday or Sunday. They hunt in the same area each year (about 4 hours northeast of our house) and stay in the same rental mobile home while there. They don't often get any deer, which makes me think they just go up there to sleep, drink, scratch, fart and whatever else they do in the name of male bonding. LOLOL In any event, it's a good way for them to blow off some steam and relax. In the meantime, my sister-in-laws usually get together for a "hunters' widows" dinner at a nice restaurant the Friday night that the guys are gone, and they are doing that this Friday. Angela usually gets off work at 5 on Friday nights, so I'll see if she wants to go with me to the dinner since the gals don't meet at the restaurant until 6:30 or 7.

Alrighty then! I think that brings my blog up to date! Hope you all have a wonderful week, and since the temps are supposed to drop quite a bit, try to stay warm too!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Iargo Springs

This is part 2 of our pictures from last weekend's day trip to northern lower Michigan...

Iargo Springs is located inland from the little town of Oscoda by maybe 15 miles or so. Although I'd grown up in Oscoda, I'd never visited the springs, so I was glad for the opportunity to pay them a visit. The friends that we went up there to see had also wanted to see the springs badly. We certainly weren't disappointed!

The Springs lay alongside the banks of the Ausable River. The banks in this area are very steep, and rise almost straight up at least 500 ft. or more above the water. You can definitely see the work of glaciers-of-old in this area. In the old days, when Indians traversed the Ausable River regularly, they would meet at the springs and hold pow-wows there because they believed the water from the springs held magical powers.

The parking area is at the top of the high bank. Then you have to descend 294 stairs downward in order to see the springs (3 or 4 of them) and walk the man-made boardwalks that criss cross the little streams that are created by the springs. These little streams drain into the river, and they have expanded the width of the river here greatly by pouring sediments out along the shoreline. These have formed a large delta.

I figured walking down a lot of stairs would be easy. I mean, you're going DOWN, right? How much energy can that take? But after the first 200 or so stairs, the muscles in the front of my upper legs started to burn a bit. It was the same for all our friends too (so at least I didn't feel as However, we made it to the bottom and were glad we did!

The forest floor was a lush, green, moist canopy of glorious beauty. Our Forest Service had placed large logs in front of 3 of the springs years ago, and this made for beautiful waterfalls. The sound of the water dancing over the falls, and then over the rocks in the streams below them, was wonderful--like hearing a child laugh. The boardwalks meandered all over the place. There had to be at least 6 of them winding their way to the delta, and each one ended right at the delta. The water in the delta was crystal clear. You could see all the logs beneath the surface, and there were no waves or ripples in the water at all.

Goiiiinnng down!

The delta in the foreground; the actual river in the background.
The delta at the shoreline.

One of the springs flowing over a man-made barrier.

A second spring.

An island in the middle of the Ausable River.
The start of the 294 stairs back to the top.
Lumberman's Monument--a beautiful park that includes a brass statue erected as a tribute to the early loggers in the area.

Foot Dam was definitely flowing pretty hard. Fishermen fishing for salmon and steelhead are in the foreground.
This guy was only too eager to show us the steelhead he'd just caught.

The lights of Oscoda City Beach as seen from the end of the pier stretching out into Lake Huron.
 Of course, we all knew in the back of our minds that at the end of our adventure, we'd have to climb back up the 294 steps to the top. However, we took our time doing that, and made sure to take advantage of the many landings with park benches on them to rest so we wouldn't get over-taxed. It worked. We all made it to the top safely without doing too much huffing and puffing. LOL I mean, we are all in our 50's now!

The day ended as nicely as it started. The 6 of us stopped at an overlook area and took more pics, then visited the last dam on the river (Foot Dam) and checked out the fishermen along the shore. We then ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant nearby where the food was really good. When dinner was finished, we drove into downtown Oscoda were we all walked out into Lake Huron on the new boardwalk/pier the city had just built. Then, following several hugs, the 6 of us parted ways--they back to their campground for one more night, and us for our trip home. Before we got on the road,  Tom & I decided to drive 2 blocks to where I'd heard a childhood friend of mine was working. She and I hadn't seen each other in at least 15 years, during which time her hubby had moved them around the country several times, had several affairs on her, and finally told her earlier this year that their 28 year marriage was over because he'd found someone else. They have 2 kids in their late teens. My friend and her daughter moved back to Oscoda where a lot of her family lives, and her son stayed with his dad in California. My friend had to pick up her broken life and start over again. I know this year has been especially tough for her, but it appears she's picked up the pieces of her life and is standing on her own 2 feet again. We gave each other several big hugs (she was shocked to see me!), and she finally got to meet Tom. It was only a 15 minute visit, but there was so much emotion there. She gave me her phone number, and I plan to stay in touch with her now that she's in Michigan again.

That's the end of Part 2, and the end of our trip up north. Next time, I'll post some pics from our visit to an area cider mill last Sunday. We took Dante with us, and he was a lot of fun!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Saturday Visit up North!

Well, Tom and I made it home safely from our "up north" day trip Saturday. We had a blast with our friends up there and got in A LOT of exercise too.

(NOTE:  Those of you who are Facebook friends with me have probably already seen the photos in this post. But at least here on Blogspot, I can add additional background information and comments, so please bear with me.)

The first half of the day was lightly raining and misting, which didn't bode well for our lighthouse tour, but undaunted, we took the tour anyway and really enjoyed it. The first lighthouse constructed on Tawas Point in 1852 was 3/4 of a mile inland from where the current lighthouse stands. At the time it was built, it was located on the water's edge of the Point. However, due to sand piling up and extending the Point into Lake Huron, the current lighthouse was built farther out in 1876. At that time IT was also at water's edge, but today, due to the same sand build-up, it is 1/2 mile inland from the point of this ever-lenghtening peninsula. The Coast Guard stopped using the current lighthouse to warn mariners in 1946.

The current lighthouse is located in Tawas State Park on the Tawas Point Peninsula.

The view from the top of the lighthouse on a gray, misty day. Notice how far out the water is in Lake Huron.

Our tour guide was dressed in a pirate's costume and had a stuffed parrot on her shoulder. To the right is the current lighthouse light, which runs on electricity now.

Looking up the lighthouse tower. There were 84 tiny, spiral stairs to the top!

Surrounding the lighthouse were lots of Halloween decorations including a large, spooky cemetery, costumed locals, children's games in the "big tent" and other festivities. Like us, the locals and visitors were undaunted by the light rain, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

"I'll get you, my pretty! And your little dog, Toto, too!" LOL

Tom (on the right, just in case you weren't sure) having fun with a bony friend.

The second half of the day was dry and somewhat warmer and as we left East Tawas, we made our way to Oscoda where I used to live when I was a kid. It was great to see the town again and also our old house. Then we headed to Harrisville where 2 of our "river family" couples were camping in trailers at Harrisville State Park. It was a beautiful park with lots of trees and fall color still left. Our friends had secured side-by-side campsites at the end of a road right alongside Lake Huron. The park wasn't crowded, and Tom and I enjoyed walking along the beach with them, and on the way back, walking through the campground. Then we all gathered in 2 vehicles and headed inland to do some sightseeing almost an hour from the campground.

Having fun at Harrisville State Park beach on the Lake Huron shoreline.

I fell in love with this Cedar tree located on the site next to our friends' trailer. Yes, this is ONE TREE. Apparently, more and more new trees kept growing right out of the center of it until it looked like this. Really cool! All the trees you see in this shot are part of the same root system!

Our first stop as a group was at Five Channels Dam on the Ausable River. There are a total of 5 dams on the Ausable River between the cities of Gaylord and Oscoda, which is where the river empties out into Lake Huron. That afternoon, we got to see 4 of the dams, and the scenery was gorgeous (way hillier than we expected!).  Some of the dams were barely pumping any water; others had water gushing out into the river! Five Channels dam as seen below, wasn't pumping out much water at all.

Five Channels Dam

I think I'll publish what I've posted so far, and continue with additional stories and pictures from the second half of our trip later on this week. I surely don't want to overwhelm anyone with my consistently lengthy posts. (Me? Talk a lot? Why, surely you jest! LOL)

NEXT POST: the biggest tour attraction of our trip, Iargo Springs, Mother Nature's magical, peaceful, crystal-clear, water flowing wonderland. (And all you had to do was descend a measly 294 stairs to see it, and 294 stairs to get back to the top!)

Friday, October 19, 2012


Remember a couple months ago when I probably mentioned how cool it was that our grandson had discovered his little voice and was making lots of cooing and squealing sounds? Well, now that he's a little over 5 months old, those same sounds have turned into the loudest, longest, high-pitched screeches you'd ever want to hear, to the point where Tom & I have been tempted to cover our ears! Seriously!  LOLOL And after each screech, he looks at us with excitement and a HUGE smile on his face as if to say, "Did you HEAR that? Wasn't that just SO cool?" Oh my gosh. Dante now makes our loud, obnoxious cockatiel sound like an on-duty Librarian. Goodness!

Tom and I are looking forward to leaving our house at 8 a.m. tomorrow to spend the day visiting the cute little Lake Huron shoreline towns of East Tawas, Oscoda, Greenbush and Harrisville. We'll only be up in that area for the day (should be home by 11 p.m. tomorrow night), but we're excited to get up to my "old stomping grounds" as I used to live in Greenbush when I was a kid, and I attended Oscoda schools. I love that area for the beauty and tranquility of its many rivers, inland lakes, and Lake Huron. We try to get back up there at least once or twice/year. It's my second home, and I hope we can retire up there some day (although our desire would be to become "snowbirds," spending the winter months in a warmer climate with very little snow, if any). Look out, Miss Sally! Once we retire, you could be having winter house guests. LOLOL

Anyway, I'll try to take some pictures and will post some of them when we return.

My brother and his wife invited us to go to a cider mill with them early Sunday afternoon, and we're looking forward to it. We haven't visited a cider mill yet this fall, so I guess it's about time we get off our butts and pay one a visit. The one my brother has chosen is 45-50 minutes from our house, and we've never been there before. We plan to take Dante with us so he can enjoy all the sights and sounds--a petting farm, a wagon ride, the patrons, and maybe some pumpkin picking. He won't remember any of it a week from now, and will probably sleep through some of it, but he'll have fun anyway. And who knows? If the petting farm houses peacocks, hawks, and/or other fowl, maybe he can launch into one of his high-pitched SCREECHES and have a full-on conversation with them! Now wouldn't that be fun? Then we can start calling him Dante "Doolittle." LOLOL

Hope all of you have a fun weekend too, making sure to take time to relax in between everything else I'm sure you have scheduled. Blessings!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Great Nephew and Tiger Baseball

Whew! I finally got caught up with reading everyone's blogs from the past couple of weeks. I hope I'll be able to STAY caught up, but with our crazy-busy lives, one just never knows.

We've had a lot going on lately it seems. A couple of weekends ago, we attended a family engagement party at a fancy-schmancy banquet facility on a golf course (we had a blast!). It was good to see, and hang out with, some of  my hubby's family who we rarely get to see. The next night, we attended a wedding and reception for a good friend of my husband's that he's known since 2nd grade. Tom (hubby) was a groomsman, and his youngest brother was the best man. One of my nephews played music during the wedding on his guitar, and my youngest sister-in-law and I got to carry up the Holy Communion elements during the wedding service. A good majority of my hubby's family attended, and at the reception hall, we took up 5 or 6 tables...chairs on both sides! There was good food and lots of dancing. Fun, fun, fun!
Tom & I at his friend, John's, wedding.

Last Friday, Tom & I decided we needed a night out and some alone time (which is tough to get nowadays with our daughter, her fiancee' and grandson living with us), so he took me out to dinner at a very reasonably-priced restaurant about 20 minutes from home that we've always wanted to visit, then we spent the night at a hotel down the street from it. This place was absolutely adorable, and very reasonably priced too. The interior furniture was all Amish--beautiful light-colored pine dressers, nightstands and a headboard. (I would have loved to have that furniture in OUR bedroom here at home!) The hotel was also on a lake and had a 120' long, covered, log deck/patio running along the back of it with a small swimming area, a paddle boat, feed for the duckies on the lake, a nice dock with patio furniture, etc. Several of the rooms had doors that opened onto the patio/lake. Ours didn't, but all guests are welcome to hang out on the patio, and so we did. We fed the duckies and had a great night.

The next day was cold and rainy, so once we got home, we slept a lot. Then, in the evening, we got together at a friend's house down the street with our Rifle River family. The "gang" usually tries to get together every couple of weeks just to hang out, share a few drinks, and LOTS of laughs. LOL We watched the Detroit Tigers play baseball on a 60" TV (we need to get one of those giant things!!!) and were happy that they won the game. They've continued to play well and, who knows? We might be playing in the World Series starting next week! We sure hope so! Go, Tigers!

On Monday of this week, Tom's nephew and niece-in-law had their first baby, a boy they named Anthony Michael. Tom & I went to see him, and his parents, Monday night at the hospital. We got to hold him and he was just SO cute! Unfortunately, two days later, he had to be transported to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor because he has 2, possibly 3, very major medical problems. It truly broke our hearts to hear this. He will probably need heart surgery and who knows what else, and even then, it isn't known yet if he will be OK. If all of you could PLEASE keep baby Anthony in your prayers, it would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hubby, Tom, holding newly-born baby Anthony on Monday evening.

 This upcoming Saturday Tom & I plan to leave early in the morning and drive 3 hours to East Tawas on the Lake Huron coast. A few of our river family friends will be camping up there all weekend. We plan to meet up with them Saturday morning and spend the day traveling around the area...exploring. Then we'll leave to come home  Saturday night, probably around 8 p.m. My camera isn't all that great, but I'll bring it with me and try to get some pics. We plan to go inside the  Tawas Point lighthouse (which is only open to the public a few times each year) which, as I understand it, gives beautiful panoramic views of Lake Huron and the city of Tawas. We also plan to visit two natural springs along the Ausable River (the 2 springs are almost next to each other), and possibly Lumberman's Monument, which is a park with a huge statue of 3 or 4 loggers as a tribute to the early logging industry down the Ausable River in Michigan. Now, let me mention, that at both the Spring, and the Monument, the best way to see all the attractions is to walk down to the river itself. HOWEVER, each trip is almost 300 stairs ONE WAY. Tom & I aren't the most physically fit people, so if we try this, we might have to take some breaks coming BACK UP the stairs. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the landscapes; I'm NOT looking forward to climbing all those stairs back to the parking lot. We'll see how that goes. Toward dinnertime, the 6 of us plan to go to a really nice restaurant along the Ausable River in the town of Oscoda. I grew up in Oscoda for some years as a kid, and I'm always just SO tickled to get back up there and say, "Hello" to my old stomping grounds. It should be a good time.

On the homefront: Angela quit the Vet Tech job at that nasty place with all the hateful people. Two days later, she was hired in at one of the best, most quality-oriented vet hospitals in the area, and she has been happy as a lark every since. It has taken her 3 years, and several jobs, to find an awesome place to work where the employees care about QUALITY, not just quantity. The owners and managers at this new place respect and care for all the employees, and they, in turn, respect management and each other. Most of the employees have been there for 10 - 20 years, so you know it's a nice place to work. Ang can get health insurance after 90 days, a scrub allowance of $100 per year, sick days, vacation time, vet discounts for all our pets, and BONUSES at the end of each year. The owners even give a nice employee party at Christmas. FINALLY, she is happy in her vocation, and we see her staying in this place for a long time to come. Equally, the managers and co-workers like Angela too.  :-)   Ang has also found an incredible day care gal to watch Dante while she works. This gal is local, and came recommended by a friend of one of our sister-in-laws. She only watches 3 or so kids, and on different days, so they all get plenty of attention from her. Dante really likes her too!

Jason just moved on from his job of the past 6 months (where the boss was a disrespectful, mean idiot), and is now working for a father and son construction company. Right now, they are building several modular homes in a residential neighborhood--doing all the work from start to finish--so Jason will learn A LOT in his field. So far, he really likes the bosses, and they seem to like him. We're keeping our fingers crossed that this will be an excellent job for him.

Tom's job is...well...slower than molasses. They really haven't had any substantial work to do for probably a month or more. We keep waiting for the hammer to come down saying the owners will be closing the place, and/or moving the operations to their plant in Mexico. He continues to look for a new job, but again, he isn't finding anything in his field except for a few positions out of state. It's frustrating for him!

My job at the church is going just fine. It is a pleasure to work with the friendly, kind-hearted, and well educated theologian of a pastor that we have now. He and his wife/kids live down the road from us. Angela & I have been sharing a car since she's been working, and pastor is always saying, "Do you need me to pick you up on my way in to work tomorrow?" And if I need a ride, he's so happy to give me one. What a sweetheart that man is.

As for Dante, our wonderful grandson, he is 5 months old now and just a bundle of joy. That kid always seems to be smiling and laughing with, and at, us. He cracks us up! He LOVES being outside, and riding in the car to various places. He also likes music and having us dance with him. He's no problem to take places because EVERYTHING is interesting to him, and so he's never bored. He hasn't started crawling yet; is almost turning over on his own; is starting to hold his bottle when he eats; and actually stands up pretty well (when he wants to) with us holding his arms. Oh, and he also loves both our dogs. He just looks at them and starts smiling, even if all they're doing nothing more than sitting on the couch next to him (which is what they do

That's it for the latest news in our lives. Whew! It's way past my bedtime, so I need to hit the hay. Hope all of you have a wonderful remainder of the week! Hugs!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life Without Summer is Just S.A.D.

I wonder why I have such difficulty enjoying fall and the changing of the seasons? I have several friends and some family who think that fall is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They tell me what they love about it--the beautiful tree colors, the cooler temperatures, Halloween and costume parties, apple and pumpkin picking--and I HEAR what they're saying. And yet, those good reasons still don't convince me to appreciate the fall season very much. I sometimes feel guilty about that.

In my mind, fall represents the end of everything I love about the outdoors--green leaves on the trees, boating, fishing, camping, swimming, gardening, being outside until 9:30 at night, having all the windows open in the house, etc. People are much more healthy and hardy in the summer months. Well, at least in Michigan they are. Colds and the flu are pretty much non-existent during the summer in our state. Life is just so much fuller and enjoyable during the summer months.

Tom always tells me he thinks I suffer terribly from S.A.D.--Seasonal Affective Disorder. And I know he's right. I truly do not appreciate, and have no use for, the weather during the months of October through April. I don't like the colder weather. I don't care for snow. I can't stand the thought of the upcoming cold/flu season. And I absolutely hate the constant darkness that is there both when I leave for work, and when I get off of work. There isn't a lot of sun in Michigan during fall and winter, and I'm a person that NEEDS sunshine in my life in order to function normally and be my usual, happy self.

My response to the non-summer seasons isn't great. I get depressed and in a funk. I have no desire to leave the house or really do much of anything. I don't enjoy life much during these months. I just grit my teeth and force myself to go through them. Even worse, I find myself actually getting pissed off and angry at the cold temperatures, snow and darkness, as if they're a person or something! LOL

The older I get, I feel compelled, almost determined at times, to find some way to be a snowbird, to live in Michigan during May - September, and then move to a warmer, sunny state during the rest of the year. So far, I haven't figured out a way to make this happen since Tom and I aren't of retirement age yet, and snowbirds require a consistent source of income. Our income comes from our jobs, and I don't know of too many jobs where you can live in Michigan during the warmer months, and then head to, say...sunny Arizona during the winter months. However, it is a really nice dream that is always in the back of my mind. Who knows? Some day, we might find a way to make this work!  :-)

In the meantime, let me apologize up front to my friends and family who enjoy fall, winter and spring. If I don't respond favorably or joyfully to your Facebook posts of "I just LOVE this cooler weather," please forgive me. It's not my fault. It's a psychological thing. It's the S.A.D. thing. But one day, I hope to be able to turn that into a G.L.A.D. thing!  :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Bits of Fluff

Hooray! No major stories today--bad or good! Just a bunch of bits and pieces while I'm sitting here at the computer waiting for my items in the oven to get done baking.

"What items?" you ask. Well, Tom & I volunteered to bring the "treats" for tomorrow morning's Coffee Hour/Bible Study after church, so I decided to make 2 cinnamon crunch cakes, a loaf of pumpkin bread and a loaf of banana nut bread. I baked the 2 breads earlier this afternoon, and the crunch cakes are just about done. "Did you make them from scratch?" you're wondering. Nahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Didn't have time for the homemade stuff today. But tomorrow I plan to use the latest zucchini from our garden to make 3 or 4 loaves of zucchini bread. Now THOSE will be homemade! (I think I can, I think I

We are babysitting Dante tonight, and he's sleeping right now on his grandpa while grandpa is leaning back in his recliner. They are so cute together. Dante will be up any minute wanting to drink his last bottle of the night. Then I plan to give him a bath, and he should be sound asleep by 10 p.m. or so.

We're babysitting because today is Angela and Jason's 1-year anniversary as far as dating. They went to a movie, then dinner. I hope they have fun. Angela deserves a good time since she's been working so hard at her new job this past week.

Speaking of her job, those people there are idiots, unfortunately. Early this week, one of the other Vet Techs that Angela really liked called the boss and quit on the spot (she'd been there for a couple years) saying she had another job. The owner FLIPPED OUT and started yelling in the office, telling the remaining employees, "Well I was going to fire here anyway in 2 weeks" and "I'm going to find out where her new job is and let those people know what a rotten employee she is. I hope they call me for a reference on her because I'm going to trash her, big time!" Wow. Angela was shocked. Can you say, "vengeful" and "unprofessional"? The owner could get sued for libel if she did those things! Angela DID NOT like hearing all that. She came home and told us, "Guess I better make sure I never piss off the boss!"

Angela has been busting her butt for these people, but today, all of the techs got pulled into the owner's office separately, and then Angela got called in. Apparently, the owner asked the other techs how Ang was doing. Two of the three said she was doing great; but the head technician, who is a really b*tchy and mean woman, said Angela was too slow at doing certain things yet. Well, HELLO! Ang hasn't worked at all in over a year because she was pregnant, and she also has to learn all the procedures and protocols of this new vet too. She's only been there TWO WEEKS! I think it's going to take a little longer than that for her to get up to speed totally. On a positive note, the owner told Angela that she really liked her, and that Ang was a really hard worker, had a great attitude, and learned quickly. However, then she said, "But if we had to decide today whether you were going to be hired on as a permanent employee, we'd have to say, 'no.'" She just couldn't believe it.

Another problem is that the 3 remaining techs are long-time good friends and live in the same city (hang out together on weekends, etc.). So Ang is the "outsider" just like the gal that quit was before she quit.

Now Ang is wondering if she'll even have a job at the end of her 30 day trial. And she is SO angry because she is working SO hard for these people. She literally has sweat on her forehead and upper lip some days because she's cleaning the rooms so hard, or they're running her around like crazy. The sucky thing is, this vet has a reputation for always having a Help Wanted sign out front, and the sign got put out there again today. That leaves Ang wondering if they are going to hire one more Tech because some of the girls are working O.T.right now, or if they're hiring a tech to replace her. And it makes her VERY ANGRY because she is such a conscientious employee. The other techs move faster than her because they've all been there 10 years +, and they are sloppy. They draw up too much or too little medicine for injections, they're supposed to take each animals temperature and pulse when they're in the exam room, and they don't, etc. Lots and lots of shortcuts. Ang isn't used to working that way. It's all about getting as many animals thru the rooms as possible and the almighty dollar.

So we'll see if, after the remaining 2 weeks of Angela's trial period she gets hired on permanently. She's so irritated with this new place that she plans to start sending out resumes again now.

As her mom, I just want to go to her office and tell off the owner and that nasty head technician, ya know? But Ang is 25 years old, and she has to learn how to take care of herself in life. Still...mamma don't like when folks mess with her baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!!  LOLOL

Well, I have more work to do tonight, so I better get going. Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Healthy Test Results

 On this day of remembrance for those who lost their lives on 9/11/10, I find myself being EXTRA thankful that recent test results have come back with good news as far as my overall health is concerned.
A few years ago, I felt like my body was starting to fall apart as initial physicals and test results showed several potential and scary problems. I put off having the necessary tests done (6 different ones) for two years, because I didn't want to hear any "bad news." However, this fall I decided to face my fears and have all the tests run. And so far, thanks be to God, all of the results have been great, with only one test left to go. What a relief!
I found out today that the stress test I had last week was totally normally. My heart is doing what it's supposed to do, and there are no blockages. Woo hoo!
Tomorrow I'll have the final test done, and I'm praying it will come out well also. And then I can sit back, relax, and wait for all the lab, x-ray and doctors' bills to come in! LOLOL 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Always Such a Busy Bee!

I don't know why I always feel like I'm so busy in life. I always mean to read other peoples' blogs and post updates to mine, but somehow, just never get around to doing it. I think there is just so much activity in our house right now that I don't have the "quiet time" I need to be able to sit and concentrate on my blog. Plus, it takes time to post pictures (as well as semi-intelligent comments), and time seems to be the one commodity I'm always short on. In any event, I'm sorry I've been so lax lately, and ask for your patience as I try to find the time to post regularly.

I don't have any pics to post right now. I'm sneaking in this update while at work. Nine times out of ten, it's more quiet and peaceful here than it is at home! LOL That's how life is when you have 4 adults and one baby living under the same roof.  :-)

Things are going ok in our lives for now, and I'm thankful for that. Angela started working at an area vet last week, and she's been thrilled to begin receiving paychecks again. We thought she had been hired in permanently already, but she told us that the owner has all new employees work on a trial basis for 30 days, and if that works out well, then they will be hired and given a raise to boot. We're keeping our fingers crossed that Angela will do well and be hired permanently. Then she can stop borrowing so much money from us so we can pay OUR bills better.

It's been tough for Ang to go back to work and leave Dante. But most of her hours are afternoon and evening, so Dante only has to stay with the sitter for a few hours each afternoon, and then all day on Friday. At least she got to stay home with him for 4 months before heading bacak to work! The company I was working for when I had her made me come back to work after only 6 weeks, and that was tough!

Ang & I are sharing my car (her fiancee, Jason, drives HER car to work each day as he doesn't own a car, but he has also taken over making the payments and insurance, which has been helpful for us), and on the days she works, Tom has to pick me up on his way home from work (he doesn't mind). If Jason has to work late, then Tom has to go get Dante from the sitter's first, then pick me up at work. This sounds complicated, but has actually not been much of a problem as my work, the sitter's house, and our home are all in our town.

Ang continues to see various docs in search of help for her anxiety, depression and "focus" problems. She finally found a good Psychiatrist/Psychologist combined doctor earlier this month, and after her first (or maybe second) appointment, he diagnosed her with ADHD and possibly bi-polar disorder. (Tom & I had always wondered if she had ADD when she was a kid, but the doctors always shrugged off that idea...idiots!) The doc pulled her off some meds she'd been on, and is trying her on some new meds. Of course, while this is going on, she NEEDS to be able to work and function in life, and the transition between meds can sometimes make that difficut. The doc also scheduled her to see a behavioral specialist as Angela has nervous tendencies like picking her cuticles until they bleed and twisting her hair constantly. As a parent, you always wonder, "Why does she have these problems? Where did they come from?" and you hope that it's not due to anything you did while raising her. We're hoping that eventually, the various forms of therapy and meds will allow her to function normally in life.

The good news is that Ang has finally "crossed over" from being the party animal she was last summer, to the wonderful, loving and responsible mommy she is now. Woo hoo! That's certainly a relief for Tom and me. She's doing a great job at being Dante's mommy!!

Tom still has almost no work at his job, and he keeps wondering when "the hammer" is going to come down with folks losing their jobs (maybe him included). It's stressful for him to be "in limbo" like this. He continues to search for other jobs in his field, but no such luck yet. Also, he has an appointment with a diabetes specialist on Sept. 26 because his diabetes has been fairly out of control this past year. A lot of that is due to stress, I know. Hopefully, this new doc can help get him back on track.

I finally went in for my stress test last week too. I've had 2 docs tell me in the past few years that they hear a slight heart murmur in my chest. I'm waiting on the test results and hope to hear something this week.

Tom & I spent a couple of days up at the Rifle River on our friends property over Labor Day weekend. The weather was wonderful, and we enjoyed a 2-hour tubing trip one day, and then sitting in our chairs IN THE RIVER with our friends the second day. Of course, the river was ICE COLD as always; but it certainly was refreshing. Tom & I even dug out our 2-room tent and blow-up queen-sized bed (on a fold-up frame cuz I HATE sleeping on the ground) for the trip. It was cozy in there, and fun to tent camp again. Since we had left Rocco at home with Ang, we were able to stop at some cool stores on our way home too. We didn't buy much, but the window shopping sure was fun!

This past weekend, we attended a wedding reception for a guy Tom has worked with for 20 years or so. The bride and groom didn't have a ton of money, but they did some clever things with what they did have, and their wedding (on the beach in East Tawas two weeks ago) and reception Saturday night were really beautiful. Gave me some great ideas for making Ang's wedding and reception more affordable if they get married like they say they're going to next year.

Yesterday, we attended church at a sister congregation about 1/2 hour from our house because one of our godsons, who is 12 years old now, was taking his First Communion, and he wanted us to be there for it. We got to go up to the altar with him and everything. It was a beautiful service. Afterward, his folks (his dad is the pastor of the church we attended) invited us back to their house for lunch. We had been VERY close friends with this family in the late 1990's and early 2000's, but once the dad became a pastor, he got so busy that the 4 of us couldn't find time to get together these last 4 years. Things in his life are finally settling down more now, and it was just wonderful to be able to hang out with each other again and share a lot of laughs and good times. We left their house feeling really happy and refreshed, and they made us promise to start getting together with them again regularly. What a nice morning and afternoon!

Geez, I better get back to work! The time has just slipped away from me here. Have a pleasant week, my blogger friends!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Here's My Update, Miss Sally!

Hello, Blogger Friends!

I received a nice little blog post a few days ago from one of the sweetest blogging ladies I know, Miss Sally. In it, she asked me in the nicest way possible if I could update my blog so that she could have some additional "entertainment" in her life. I don't know if I'd call my blogs entertaining, but her simple request got my creative juices flowing again, so here we go (for better, or worse)!

I can't believe my last post was on April 29th! I 'm sure this is due to the fact that our daughter had her baby on May 10th. Everything went well (praise the Lord!), and our grandson, Dante, is healthy and doing great! And since our daughter, her fiancee', our grandson, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 1 LOUD cockatiel and several fish still live with us, our house has been nothing shy of a "Cheaper by the Dozen" movie. LOL

What can I say about our new (and only) grandson except that he is cute, he makes us laugh, and we love him to pieces! Being a grandparent is so much fun. I've posted some pics of Dante below--one of my husband with him in their Red Wing hockey shirts, and one of Dante in his baptismal outfit. He was, thankfully, baptized on July 22nd. He was just sleeping away that morning...probably dreaming of giant bottles of formula (he eats VERY well) and soft, fuzzy diapers, when suddenly cool water was poured over his head 3 times by our Pastor. His response? A slight jump at each wetting of his head, then...z-z-z-z-z-z. It didn't even phase him. He also slept through his baptismal lunch afterward. LOL

Grandpa Nono and Dante.

Dante in his baptismal outfit.
Jason (the fiancee') is now working as a sheet metal worker/rough carpenter. The job pays fairly well for a young man, and he really likes the guys he works with. He hopes that after 90 days, he'll be able to get medical benefits and maybe have the opportunity to join the union.

Angela interviewed for a part-time Veterinary Assistant job near our house recently, but was disappointed to find out she was the "runner up." However, the vet did tell her that if her new office becomes really busy when it opens on Sept. 1, Angela will be the first Vet Tech she calls to help out. In the meantime, Angela is keeping her eyes open for other vet opportunities.

Jason and Angela would love to make enough money to move out on their own, get married, etc., but with this economy being what it is, we don't see that happening very soon. Which is why I hear Tom tell me at least once a week, "I can't wait until these kids move out and you and I are empty-nesters again! I need some peace and quiet!" LOL

Tom and I have been doing fine. We decided to switch medical doctors this summer, and have been undergoing all the "new patient" tests. So far, I have high cholesterol (not WAY high, but higher than it should be), and also have to schedule 3 other tests in the next month or so. Tom is still waiting on his blood results to see how his diabetes is doing. My guess is it's out of control again, and we're hoping this new doc can adjust his meds and help it get back INTO control. Being old(er) stinks sometimes!

My job is going really well. Tom's, on the other hand, still sucks, and he doesn't know if he's going to get laid off anytime soon since his company is so awful that they have almost no business these days. A layoff would blow us out of the water financially, so we're hoping that doesn't happen. But it's not looking good right now. Tom's been searching for a new job for the past 3 years, but there aren't any jobs in his field in Michigan. Most of them are outside of the Phoenix area, around Charolotte, NC, or in California. We really don't want to move out of state because we'd miss our families a lot, but we'll see what the future holds.

We managed to make a trip north to the Rifle River in June with our River Gang friends, and hope to get back up there over Labor Day weekend. The June trip was Rocco's first time riding on a tube. Let's just say it was...well...interesting. Tom & I have a "dual tube" raft with a blow-up cooler that sits in between us (see pic below).

This allows Rocco to walk back and forth between us while tubing. What we didn't realize was that even though our group stops to swim and let their dogs go potty halfway through the trip (it's maybe an hour long total), Rocco couldn't hold his pee throughout the second-half (longer portion) of the trip. Or maybe it was that he'd drank too much river water that day. Who knows? Either way, imagine my surprise when he walked over to me on my end of the tube, and just peed away on my legs for like 30 seconds. What could I have done? At least I was in my swimsuit and was able to get into the water to rinse off. And then, on the 2nd trip of the day, he peed on Tom the same way! (Like I told Tom, at least he loves us equally...LOL) Our friends just about split a gut laughing at us and him that day. You could tell Rocco felt really bad about it, and we didn't get upset with him because we were in the middle of the river and he had nowhere else to go. We'll see how he does on his next tube ride trip, but we'll definitely make sure he doesn't drink any river water that day!

Tom, Jason, Angela, Dante, the dogs and me were also blessed to be able to make our annual trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula with my family during the last weekend of July. My brother brought up a used jet boat that he'd recently purchased, and he took all of my nephews tubing on the lake. He also let all the adults drive his boat and speed around the lake. That was so much fun! The trip was very relaxing, and we all came home feeling rested and happy. Below are a few pics from the trip:

My nephew's girlfriend and I playing Ladder Ball in front of our cabin.

My siblings, their spouses, my nephews, Uncle Jack & Aunt Janet (who live nearby) and my dad along with our dogs.

OK. Update completed. I hope this meets with your satisfaction, Miss Sally. Later this week, I look forward to spending some time reading everyone else's blogs and catching up on what's new with all of you.

Hugs and God bless!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cookies and a Puppy Bath

Boy, for someone who supposedly had NOTHING to do this past weekend, I feel like I've run myself non-stop! Can't believe I have to go to bed here in a few minutes. Where DID the time go?

Friday night, Tom and I went out to dinner at a Chinese Buffet restaurant nearby. It was nice spending quiet time with each other after a hectic work week.

Saturday afternoon I attended a Party Lite candle party at my niece's mother's house. I'm on a strict budget following Angela's shower and 2 car repairs this month, so all I bought was a votive sampler pack (I think there are 12-15 votive candles of different scents in it) and a non-flame LED flickering candle for Dante's room. It has a built-in timer, so it can be used as his nightlight during the night. After the candle show, I went in to work for a few hours, came home for dinner, then back to work around 7 and didn't finish everything for Sunday until 11 p.m.! Ugh. I rarely ever work that late, but I'm also a stickler at making sure that every single thing that has to be done for any given week is totally completed before Sunday morning, even if it means I have to work on a Saturday. I can't stand being behind on anything.

This morning, Sunday, Tom and I went to church. He was the Video Technician for today, so he got to sit up in the Choir Loft with the video camera, which worked out great because I sang with the choir today also. The 3 pieces we sang were difficult, and we had hoped to have 1 more practice before delivering "the goods" at church this morning, but the Lord was with us as we nailed each piece. Whew!

After church, Tom and I did some yard work while intermittently watching the Detroit Tigers play New York in baseball. We lost (again). Bummer that the Tigers have fallen apart the past 5 games or so. Ah well. It's early in the season. Hopefully, they'll improve soon. Anyway, Tom mowed the lawn, the 2 dogs played in the back yard on their leashes (our yard isn't fenced), and I power washed our deck. Angela eventually joined us outside, and it was really nice to sit in the warm sun with the temp around 60 or so. It's supposed to get even warmer here this week--in the 70's and 80's--before cooling back down into the 60's next weekend.

I was excited to be able to take a brief nap on the couch late this afternoon. Rocco slept in the crook of my knees, so that was very "cozy."  :-)  When I woke up around 5, I ran to Kmart to get a few more things that Ang needed for Dante, and also had to run to Wal-mart (thankfully, they're down the road from each other) to buy "Thank You" notes for her to complete this week from her baby shower. She's just too heavy and tired now to go out much, and is anxious to deliver Dante as soon as possible. I think she has a doc appt. Tuesday for another ultrasound to see if he's turned yet. If not, she's pretty much accepted the fact that he's going to be delivered via c-section on May 10th.

Tom made dinner for us all tonight (which he usually does...what an awesome hubby he is!), and then I had fun giving Rocco a bath in the kitchen sink. Ang gave him his last bath in our bathtub in March, but he's so tiny that he fits nicely into the kitchen sink where he's easier to wash, and I can use the sprayer to rinse him off. He was such a good boy for me!

Once I got him somewhat dried off in a towel, he was SO excited that he ran around the first floor of our house in a huge circle, just barking and I swear, SMILING too! LOL He's such a character. Once he was more dry, I even brushed him for the first time. He fell asleep on the kitchen floor! ROFL Lastly, I brushed his teeth (we began doing that when we first got him, and he really likes the taste of the doggy toothpaste, so it's an easy job for me).
AFTER THAT (yes, I still had some energy left over), I washed up and made my family some sugar cookies with vanilla frosting and confetti sprinkles. Dang! What a busy day! I think (hope) I'll sleep well tonight!

Anyway, that was my weekend. Hope all of you had a really pleasant, enjoyable and relaxing weekend too!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Pic of Dante's Bedroom

Some of you have seen this photo on Facebook already, but for those of you that haven't, here is a picture of my future grandson's bedroom. My daughter & I had SO much fun putting those two tree decals on the wall, and she came up with the idea of the ivy hanging down with furry monkeys hanging in all positions off of it. Now let's hope Dante likes it when he arrives in a few weeks!  :-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Grandson Will Arrive Soon!

I apologize for not having written in a long time again. There has been so much craziness going on in my life over the past several months that extra time for blogging hasn't been an option. I have a few extra minutes of quiet here at work today, so I thought I'd sneak in a quick blog. Sh-sh-sh-sh! Don't tell anyone I'm blogging at work!  LOL

Angela's baby shower went well on April 14. Whew! It was a lot of work, but was so much fun and it was great seeing all of our family and friends there. Ang did a great job with opening all her many gifts, visiting with folks, thanking them, etc. I was very proud of her.

I was SO grateful for everyone who helped out with the shower! We really couldn't have had had such a wonderful event without the help of so many family members. Tom and "the guys" did a fantastic job making and serving all of the food. Tom is such a phenomenal cook to begin with. I knew when he told me that he'd handle all of the food that that particular area was in good hands, and one less thing I'd have to worry about.

Now, with only a few weeks to go until Angela delivers the baby, we are waiting and holding our breath to see if baby Dante will flip upside down on his own. He is still in a breech position with his butt down, and his head and legs up toward the top of the uterus. The doc gave Ang some exercises to do at home to try to get him to flip. If he doesn't flip by May 10, she'll have to have a c-section that morning, which is okay too, but she would prefer to have the opportunity to deliver him on her own without having to have a major surgery like a c-section. Ang will see the doc each week for the next two weeks and she'll have an ultrasound done with each appointment to see if Dante has turned. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

Ang & Jason got engaged in mid-February, and they plan to get married sometime after Dante is born. Jason's carpentry-type work has been sporadic this winter, and every time he thinks he's secured a "full-time" job, either the new boss doesn't call back (after telling Jason he was hired), or else the work continues to be part-time. We're hoping that as the weather warms up, more work will become available, and Jason will be able to work full-time again.

The "kids" (Ang rolls her eyes at me when I call her and Jason that) did a fantastic job on the baby's room, and it is all ready for Dante to take up residency. Jason painted the walls a bright green color, and the trim a chocolate brown. Since Dante's bedding is a jungle animal theme, Angela has added some wall decals--two 6-ft. tall palm trees and some jungle animals--to his one wall, and some green vines with monkeys attached to them along one area of the ceiling (and the vines hang down each side of the doorway). The decor is really cute, and they both put a lot of thought and work into it. Jason even removed the old pink carpeting that had been in the room and laid down a really pretty wood laminate floor. That boy is pretty talented and a very hard worker.

I'll end this post for now since I have to finish the church newsletter and get back to work! If you could keep Ang & baby Dante in your prayers over the next few weeks, I'd appreciate it. We're hoping for an easy delivery with no complications, whether it's a natural birth or a c-section. Thanks, you guys!

Hope life is treating all of you well, and serving you up much joy and happiness.  Hugs!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let's Ketchup! Errr...catch up. LOL

Wow, it's been another month since my last post. I really have to start making time to post more often. It seems we've just had so much going on lately!

Tom and I are continuing to enjoy spending time with our new dog. Rocco has settled in nicely, and we actually miss the little booger sometimes when we're at work. LOL

Angela's pregnancy has been going very well. She is 6 1/2 months along now, and her belly is definitely getting big enough so she can't see her feet anymore while looking down. All of her recent doctor visits are showing the baby Dante is progressing normally, so that's good. Thank you, Lord! And we continue to pray that he will be born a healthy baby when she delivers sometime in mid-May.

Tom has been having a tough time at his job. The entire management team, from the top down, and all of the designers are corrupt and evil. And I don't use those particular words lightly. There is so much finger-pointing, and so many power-hungry people where he works. It's disgusting. They have been demanding that Tom and 2 other guys in his area work 12 hour days, plus Saturdays for 3 weeks now. And no matter how hard these guys work, all of the designers and managers taunt them, say they're incompetent, slow, etc. One of the guys in Tom's area has been throwing up daily because of all the stress; the other had to go to the E.R. two days ago because he thought he was having a heart attack due to the stress. Tom has been suffering muscle spasms in two places in his left arm (due to tension), and is so exhausted by the time he gets home at night that he falls asleep in his recliner right after dinner, and it's tough for me to wake him up. Tonight he said he feels like he's coming down with an ear infection. He just hasn't had time to rest his body, and he's 53 years old, not a young punk, so sometimes that can take a few days. Oh, and he's a diabetic. All of the stress has made his sugar levels go way high too.

Just yesterday, the H.R. lady at his company called him to talk about the situation. I guess the other 2 guys have filed complaints with her re: the idiots that are causing all the problems, and she wanted to get Tom's point of view. She felt really terrible that all 3 guys were being exposed to such mismanagement, and she said she plans to try to do something about it. I can't imagine that will happen, but we'll see. In the meantime, Tom and I keep searching the job postings each day trying to find SOMETHING he can do without taking a huge pay loss. It's frustrating with the economy being so bad, but I honestly am afraid sometimes that this job is going to kill him. And NO amount of money is worth that!

Angela & I picked a date for her baby shower--it's Saturday, April 14. We've been putting together her invitation list and hope to have those mailed by March 10. She & Jason have also registered at Wal-mart for some items, and I've encouraged her to also register someplace like Babies R Us, or Bye Bye Baby since they have a greater selection of baby items. I'm also working on crocheting a baby afghan for Dante that contains the colors of the crib bedding that Angela picked out for him. It's a new pattern that my girlfriend, Linda, taught me, and I'm having fun with it. Angela & I have already been discussing the baby shower table settings and decorations, and my sister, some sister-in-laws, and some nieces have volunteered to help with the shower. Tom also surprised us girls and volunteered to cook and serve all of the shower food! He's so awesome. One of my brothers and his youngest brother have volunteered to help him. And my sister works for a food broker, so she is going to be able to get us most of the food ingredients for FREE. You gotta love family!

Other than all of that, not much else is new. I wish spring was here as I'm not much of a winter person. Then again, the lower peninsula of Michigan has had a mild winter with very little snow this year, so I can't complain...much.

Hope all is going well in your lives, friends!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hooray! We have a new dog!

Hello again,

I figured I'd add a post while I was sitting at this here computer adding some pics of our new dog to Facebook. I'm so geeked! I REALLY missed not having a dog since Miss Becky died at the end of November. There's been a huge hole in my heart, and an empty space on the loveseat, that just needed to be filled by a dog of our own.  :-)

Before I get to dog pics tho, let me say what a pleasure it was to meet one of my fellow bloggers, Judy Walts-Miller, today. My sister-in-law, Jeanette, and I thought it would be nice to meet Judy and offer her our support and some hugs following the death of her best friend and love of her life for the past 7 years--Fred. Visitation at the funeral home was this afternoon, and since it wasn't too far from home, Jeanette and I met there, and were greeted by Judy with a warm smile and some hugs. It was unfortunate that the 3 of us had to meet under such sad circumstances, but nonetheless, it was our pleasure to be there and offer support to a super nice lady. Love ya, Jude!

Also, Angela's pregnancy has been going really well so far. She's been feeling great for the past 3 weeks, and it's nice to see her so joyous and healthy now after a tough first trimester. She will be going for her "big" ultrasound at the high-risk doctor's office at a nearby hospital on Monday. We continue to pray that the baby is just fine (and we believe he/she is), and Angela & Jason are really looking forward to hopefully finding out the baby's sex so they can share that news with everyone. The baby has been very active the past 3 weeks, and Angela thinks it's hilarious when it kicks and moves around. A few days ago, the baby wasn't doing a whole lot, so she decided to put her headphones on her stomach and play some classical music. Well, that baby started kicking and moving around like crazy which probably means one of two things: he/she either loves classical music, OR he/she was thinking, "Turn that crap down, I'm trying to sleep!" LOL If you all could continue to keep Angela and her baby in your prayers until she delivers sometime in mid-May, I'd really appreciate it.

OK. Back to the new dog. He is a 1.5 year old dachshund/chihuahua mix that looks like a mini version of Angela's American Dingo dog, Tiesto. It's crazy how much the two of them look alike, and yet they are totally different breeds and sizes. The dog came to us named "Poindexter" because he was so smart, and his nickname was "Dexter." However, we didn't like that name, he didn't respond to that name, and we've always wanted a small dog named "Rocco," so now his name is Rocco. He started responding to that name immediately, which is great! Here's his story:  He was a stray that was picked up by the Jackson County dog catcher in September. He was extremely emaciated, flea infested, and barely lifted his head--his spirit was broken. He was in such bad shape that he was scheduled to be euthanized. A volunteer at the dog shelter stopped the euthanasia by announcing that he deserved a chance, and that she'd be willing to take him in as his foster mom. She was granted her wish. He is now at a healthy weight, has no health problems, and is one of the friendliest, comedian-type dogs you'd ever want to meet. It makes me sad to know that he was minutes away from losing his life, but I'm glad we've given him a second chance in life, and HE SEEMS GLAD TOO!

He LOVES going for rides in the car, and he even did a great job at going for a ride in a shopping cart when I took him to Pet Supplies Plus with me tonight to buy him a new collar and food bowls. LOL And he loved everyone in Pet Supplies Plus, and they loved him! It is such a good feeling to look over and see a dog sleeping on our loveseat again.  :-)  Pics are below.

Angela's dog, Tiesto (left), and Rocco (right)
Tom holding Rocco.