Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lazy Days of Summer...

Well, pretty lazy anyway. We have had some really hot and stormy weather this past week. The kind of heat and humidity where you really just want to stay in the air conditioned house. Then Friday night we had a big storm, complete with a tornado just north of us, and finally today it has cooled down enough to open the windows again and enjoy being outside on the deck with a book, which is exactly what I did this afternoon! Zoe and I also made a quick trip up to the high school field for a game of frisbee.
I have spent much of the last week on the phone trying to close out some of my Mother's accounts and furnish the necessary paperwork to help with that process. I also visited my friends up at school to see how their classrooms will look this year and who they have in their classes. It will seem odd not to be going back to that this year though I'm sure I will go in and visit often. I know I just won't be able to stay away completely.
I also finally worked up the nerve on Friday to call about my "new job". I waited for two weeks for the Practice Manager to call but when he didn't, I finally decided I should call him. When I called the office I spoke briefly to the receptionist and then she asked if I could hold. I waited for the Practice Manager to come on the line but instead I was suddenly talking to the Dr.! Then I got the bad news! The Manager had been fired and the Dr. didn't have my number so he couldn't call me. Then I got a little good news. He still would like me to work there but wants me to wait a few more weeks until closer to the time they will move into their new office. He said he would understand if I didn't want to wait that long and needed to find another job. I told him I really wanted this job and would be willing to wait. Since I'm going to need some time off in a couple weeks anyway, for the wedding, I might as well wait until after that to start the job anyway. So I just got an extension on summer and still have a couple weeks to finish up all those projects I wanted to get to!
Hard to believe in 3 weeks Amber will be married and officially a Porter! She is still waiting for her dress to come in and it should be this week. She's also meeting with some of the vendors to wrap up the last minute details. We have all the RSVP's in and the numbers are pretty much what we expected them to be, right at about 100 guests. Exciting times!!
Tyler has moved into his new apartment and just finished up his summer semester. He thinks he did pretty well and is hoping for an A in the class! He has a week off until school begins again after Labor Day. He also started a job last week so he will be bringing in a little pocket money which will help him in the times between loan payments! We are really looking forward to seeing him in a few weeks as it's been 8 long months since we've seen him!
Scott is also getting ready to start back to school after Labor Day. He's working 2 days a week at Mr. B's now and making pretty good money.
I spoke to my Dad and Ingrid yesterday and got an update on his condition. He's been receiving treatment to boost his red blood cells so that he can have another chemo treatment. If all goes well he's supposed to have his 3rd treatment tomorrow. He has had a few fainting spells and they don't seem to know why. He has two small fractures in his back from one of his falls. I just try to keep up with what they are doing and wait to find out when or if they want me to come out to visit.
In the last week I have noticed a great deal more activity at my hummingbird feeder. They are quick little boogers and I have been challenging myself to get some good pictures of them. It's funny how I can stand outside on the deck near the feeder and they just look at me and go on drinking but if I'm inside the kitchen, behind a window with the camera, they get all nervous and don't want to stay around long. Sometimes I can barely get the camera up and focused before they take off again. I've also noticed how the yellow jackets chase the hummingbirds away from the feeder. They don't like to share and surprisingly the hummingbirds seem to be afraid of the yellow jackets. If it's not the yellow jackets chasing them away it's another more aggressive hummingbird. I've also noticed from standing near the feeder out on the deck that they actually make a little chirping noise. They are quite the fascinating creature! I was able to get a few really good pictures.

It's hard to believe that next weekend will be Labor Day Weekend. Where did the summer go? Can it possibly be so close to Fall? I'm going to enjoy this coming week and try to get outside as much as possible!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Amazing Camera & Things In The Yard...

Isn't this an amazing picture of the moon? I was out in my front yard and I'm sure after many flashes, the neighbors were peeking through their blinds wondering what in the heck I was doing! I promise, it's not enhanced in any way. Just taken with my camera on the strongest zoom possible. I took it last month during the full moon. I really didn't think I would have much luck. I guess I should mention I probably took 100 pictures in 10 different settings and really only got about 10 good pictures but this was one of the best! The hardest part was holding the camera still enough to get it right!!

One day I was out on the deck and heard this screeching sound. I could have sworn it was an eagle I heard but after taking this picture and looking at it on the computer I had to admit it was just a hawk but still an amazing picture. He was way across the pond and the zoom brought him nice and close!

The only other amazing picture was the dragon fly. I was in the backyard, probably 20 feet away from this dragon fly, when I snapped the picture. Looks like you could just reach out and touch him!!

Did I mention my flowers are doing well this summer? As long as I remember to water them that is!! This is one of the prettiest window boxes I've planted, I think.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bunco Girls Weekend - Part II

We drove up to Traverse City on Friday and by dinner time all the girls had arrived. We had a nice dinner of lasagna (prepared by Cheryl) and foccacia bread (prepared by me) and a nice salad. After dinner we just sat out on the deck and relaxed and watched falling stars until bedtime, of course talking the whole time! Saturday morning I prepared Dutch Babies for the gang. They are always a hit and one of the best recipes my Mother ever gave me. After breakfast we split into two groups, some going to the beach, some going into Elk Rapids for a sidewalk sale. We met back at the house around 3:00 to get ready to go to a few wineries in the area. It was a beautiful day and drive to reach the first winery. I actually found a couple wines that I liked and ended up buying a couple bottles, mostly for Howard since he had to stay home and do the dirty work over the weekend. We went to another winery but I decided not to drink anything there as I had had enough! I did pick up a couple good recipes there though. That night we walked to the "club" right there in Pam's neighborhood for dinner. They have a Happy Hour at 7:30, complete with a bagpiper! After a wonderful dinner we headed back to the house to play Apples to Apples. We always have a good time and a good laugh playing this game. Sunday morning we got up and had a leisurely morning before getting on the road. We took our time and payed for it later with lots of traffic back-ups involving everyone and his sister coming back from their weekend up north! I had a nice time and it's always good to hang out with your girlfriends but I was also glad to be home again, to sleep in my own bed, hug my husband and pet my doggie!

The girls

Pretty sunset

Pretty Sunflowers


Friday, August 10, 2007

Bunco Girls Weekend II

I'm headed up north in a bit for another Bunco Girls Weekend at Pam's house. We have several things on the agenda but we are leaving it open for now until we all get together later tonight. Some want to go wine tasting, some to the beach, some out to eat. Guess we'll see.
I got a call from the vet's office this morning. I was scheduled to begin work Monday morning but guess there's been a slight change of plans. They are building a new "state of the art" facility across the street from the present location and have been advised by their accountant to hold off for a couple weeks on any hiring. So, while I still have the job I won't be starting for another couple weeks, which is really fine with me. I have plenty to do around here to keep myself busy. Plus another couple weeks to enjoy summer.
Scott's headed up north too for a week at his friend's Brian's house. He and 3 other guys drove up this morning and will stay until Thursday. This is his only real vacation as he starts school in a few weeks again.
Amber's headed to Chicago tonight for her "girls weekend". Amber's bridesmaids, maid of honor and a couple other close friends will be living it up but staying out of trouble, I'm sure!
Tyler has moved into a new apartment with 3 friends. He says it's much bigger and even cheaper than his old place. He's still attending summer school and doing well. He's hoping to make it into the Marine Biology Honors Program if he can keep his grades up. So far, so good.
Howard and Zoe will be enjoying all the peace and quiet of being home together for the weekend.

Taken in my backyard

Taken from the deck down into the pond
Have a safe and great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What a Busy Week

And it's only Wednesday!! On Monday I had an interview for a Reading Aide position at an elementary school (not the one I worked for the past 12 years). All my good friends were giving me tips and trying to help me anticipate what crazy questions might be asked. I really wasn't nervous and of course, since I was prepared with great answers, none of the anticipated questions were even asked! While the job did sound good and over the years I have always wanted a position like that, after the interview I had pretty much decided to take the job in the Vet's office. It's more hours, has the potential for more pay over time and it has benefits which I haven't had at all since working here in Michigan. So, Tuesday morning I called the Vet's office and told them I would take the job but could I wait to start until Monday so that I could get my Mother's apartment cleaned out. They were fine with that, plus the time I need to take off for Amber & Andrew's wedding in September. So... looks like Monday I will be starting a new job! Exciting stuff! The least exciting thing is I have to be there on Monday at 7:30 a.m.!! That's gonna be tough. No more staying up late! Early to bed, early to rise and all that. The nice thing is I'll be finished working by 1:30!
The rest of Tuesday and Wednesday, Scott and I got to work over at my Mother's apartment. We packed and cleaned out everything. I contacted a Furniture Bank to come pick up all the furniture and household goods. They donate everything to needy families that are just setting up a household, people trying to get back on their feet. I think my Mom would like that. She was always giving to people who needed things. While going through her papers I found a list of no less than 25 organizations that she had donated money to, just this year. Her gently used furniture and other household goods will be appreciated by someone who really needs them.
I have also been trying to find a home for my Mother's cat, Panda. Today I went around putting up flyers in places like the hardware store, the pet store, on mail boxes, etc. I figured I would have to bring Panda over here to the house by the weekend as I'm hoping we are finished up at Mom's apartment by Monday. Finally today around 5:00 a guy called wanting Panda. He wanted to go over and meet him but said he was pretty sure he would take him. I met him at Mom's apartment and he and his roommate showed up, petted and played with Panda for a few minutes and said they would take him (and all his accoutremonts). I made the kid promise that if he ever changed his mind he would call me so that I could again find Panda a good home. That was the last promise I made to my Mother, that I would make sure Panda found a home and would not go to a shelter. So, Panda now has a new home with people who really seem to like him and who have promised to keep in touch and let me know how he's doing.
So, all in all, it's been a pretty good week. New job, apartment cleaned out, new home found for Panda, and it's only Wednesday!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

More Shower Fun

Cool Slideshows!

More Showers

Cool Slideshows!

Weekend of Showers

Saturday morning I headed over to the west side of Michigan for the shower hosted by Andrew's Mom, Kathy, and three of his four sisters, Liz, Katie & Molly. They hosted a lovely luncheon and party at their home. The weather was beautiful and many of their friends attended and showered Amber and Andrew with many

lovely gifts and well wishes. Many of these ladies had known "Andy" since he was a
small child and it was fun hearing them talk about him. I know Amber and Andrew were overwhelmed by their generiosity. Later that afternoon Amber and I drove back to the east side to prepare for our hometown shower. I had baked 3 dozen or so cookies on Friday and I needed to get home and decorate them! With a little help from Howard we finished and fell into bed, exhausted from the day!

Katie, Kathy & Amber

Megan, Amber (with her ribbon bouquet) & Nicole at Andrew's family home.

Sunday morning we were up early to get
things ready to go for the Bridal Luncheon.
Nicole, Megan and Liz came over early to help load the car and head over to Oakhurst Golf & Country Club for the luncheon. The set-up went quickly with so many people helping and the room looked lovely.

Amber waiting for her guests.

Megan, Liz, Amber & Nicole

Andrew came later to kiss the ring!

Prize bags for the "games" and our
Wedding Cake Cookies

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Birthday Boy Turns ?

Here he is, the Birthday Boy! These pictures were taken on Sunday, July 29. Amber sent him a "Father of the Bride" coffee mug, which he really needed, and I bought him another Swiss Army pocket knife. He can't seem to keep hold of these little boogers and is always needing a new one. Scott and I took him out to dinner at one of our favorite restaraunts, Stir Crazy and then to see the newest Harry Potter movie. He finished off the evening with his favorite, Pineapple Upside Down Cake!

Just When I Had Given Up Hope...

They called. The vet's office. I had pretty much given up hope that they were going to call me. After all, it had been a week and I figured if they were really interested they would call me fairly quickly. So, having given up on that job, I was thrilled to get a call yesterday from an elementary school where I had also applied for a posted job as a reading aide way back in June. I figured that I wouldn't hear about that job for a while because the buildings are closed down in July and don't open back up for business until August. So yesterday I got a call to schedule an interview for the school job! I was thrilled! Since I obviously didn't get the job at the vet's office, at least I still had a chance to get this job! I'm perfect for this job! I've had experience! Confident! Excited! Then... this morning the vet's office called. I didn't answer the phone and let the machine get it and they requested I call them back. What were they going to say? Sorry, we hired someone else or you got the job! What did I want them to say? So instead of calling them back I went over to my Mother's apartment to sort through some things and throw out some things and talked it all over with two of my best friends, Natalie and Loretta, who were helping me clean things out. They also helped me weigh my options. Both jobs have merit but I don't have either job at this point. We finished up at my Mom's apartment and I came home to think some more. Finally around 5:00 I called the vet's office to find out what they had to say. They offered me the job. They had tried out a few other people but no one had my personality or job skills. (Talk about flattery going to your head! This was what I needed to hear!) So now, here's the dilemma. Do I take the job that's offered and forget about the interview on Monday? Or do I interview on Monday and weigh the two jobs? I asked the vet's office if I could call them back late Monday or Tuesday. He said to take my time, they weren't considering anyone else until they heard back from me. I think I've decided to go ahead and do the interview on Monday. It can't hurt, right? The worst that can happen is that I would have two jobs to choose from. Or at least get enough information to decide if I would even want the reading job if it WERE offered, and said offer could take another week or so. Geez, decisions, decisions. I think I'll get a few more opinions first! Wish me luck!