Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back From Florida...

We are back, tan and rested! When we got there Saturday things weren't looking so good, weather-wise that is. Amber was already at the airport when we arrived. We made a quick stop at Havana Village for our favorite Cuban sandwiches and then headed over to the beach. We had about 1/2 hour out by the pool and then it started pouring! It wasn't letting up so Amber and I decided we might as well go to the grocery store. It rained off and on all that afternoon and evening. The next morning things were looking up. Good thing too as we were expecting lots of company and they were all planning on swimming! The weather cooperated and we had a great time. Howard's brother, Bo and his wife and kids came, his sister Sharon and her boyfriend, Mike and our long-time friend Mike came too.

Howard, Lilly and Stokes

Amber with Lilly and Stokes

Kim, Bo and Sharon

Maitland Jane

Sharon and her boyfriend, Mike

We enjoyed hot dogs and other unhealthy foods out by the pool. Bo and his family and Sharon stayed until around 5:00 then they had to go home as they had school and work the next day. Mike stayed a little longer and treated us to dinner at Sea Critters, a nice little restaurant on the channel side of Passe Grille.

It was great catching up with everyone and seeing our nieces and nephew and seeing how fast they are growing. We all enjoyed some pool time with them. It brought back memories of when our kids were little and played in the very same pool.
Amber had to leave Monday evening so we made another stop at Havana Village on the way to the airport for more Cuban sandwiches! We really loved spending time with Amber for 3 whole days!

She went back home to Andy tan and rested too!
The only other time we left the beach was to go to Tampa to have dinner with Howard's step-mother, Catherine. We took her to a nice little Italian restaurant.
As nice as it was to relax and swim and sun bathe, it was good to get home to our quiet life here in Michigan. Scott managed to keep everything alive and as far as I can tell he didn't have any wild parties. The pups were happy to see us and shadowed me for most of the evening. We both missed Scott and I think Howard missed his Mustang as much as I missed my doggies! We had to take it out for a spin, top down, shortly after we got home. We drove it again today to the Farmer's Market. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. So much nicer than Florida! It was way too hot and muggy down there for my tastes! Michigan in the summer is the best!

Amber and Andy are in Michigan this weekend. They flew into Detroit last night and then drove over to Muskegon to visit Andy's family. They will be stopping by here on Monday before they head back to the airport Monday evening. It will be great seeing Andy as we haven't seen him since Christmas! I haven't told Charlie yet. I want it to be a surprise for him.

Plus I don't want him bugging me every 5 minutes asking if Andy's almost here!! That can be so annoying!

I did tell Zoe though. Don't worry, she can keep a secret!!

Just a warning Andy, don't wear your best clothes as Charlie will be all over you!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Heading South...

We are heading south tomorrow, to St. Pete

to Camelot. We haven't been there in 3 years, since Katrina was moving up the Gulf towards Louisiana.

Now it's Fay, heading away hopefully and not doing quite as much damage. We are hoping that the clouds and rain will be on their way out by the time we get there.

Amber is flying down tomorrow also but just for the weekend. We are planning a week of visiting family and friends and just relaxing at the beach or by the pool. We thought we lost Camelot 2 years ago. The previous Board didn't pay the taxes though we were paying them so the place was sold by the County for back taxes. The company that bought the place proceeded to wreck it when they got wind of the fact that the owners weren't going to accept this and started fighting to get it back. After many legal showdowns and special assessments, we were victorious in the Supreme Court and Camelot is ours once again, with a new Board in place and much better communications. We are going down to check the place out and see how well our money has been spent.

Scott will stay here and pup sit. He has one more week until school starts and all his friends are either at school already or not back from vacation so he'll be able to give Zoe and Charlie all his attention! I pray they survive with not too much trauma. I've left him a detailed list from pups to fish to tomato plant watering. We'll see what survives the 6 day trial!

Have a great week!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Beautiful Weekend...

We enjoyed another beautiful weekend here in Michigan. We found quite a few excuses to take the Mustang out and ride around with the top down. I love going about 40mph but anything over that and my hair is flying all over the place!! I'm gonna have to find something to help tame it, hat, scarf, pony tail, something!

One of the places we drove to was Best Buy. I've been wanting to buy a flat screen TV for the bedroom that has HD. I finally managed to convince Howard this would be a good idea. Here he is installing the beauty!!

And here he is watching it! I wanted to watch it but I was too busy baking dog cookies! What can I saw, we were out!! The pups needed their goodies! They appreciated it and Howard looks like he was enjoying himself!

We've just been hanging around the house otherwise. Howard had to mow the lawn because our Champion Lawn Mower (Scott) is still up north. And remember that snake I found in the flower bed a couple months ago? I didn't really mind the snake but I distinctly remember telling Howard that while I didn't mind the snake I sure hoped it wouldn't have any babies because after I discovered the snake I did a little research and found that this kind of snake has anywhere from 12 to 20 babies!! That's a lot of snakes. So anyway, back to the mowing yard story. While mowing Howard ran over two of these!

There wasn't much left of them. Plus I did discover a live one the other day when I was moving one of my tomato pots. Yikes! Hopefully they won't live through the winter?? One can hope.
We took the pups to the park today around noon. It was very warm! I wanted to take them early because tonight we are going to another concert.

Zoe, gettin' some air!

Charlie on the run (trying to catch Zoe)

Charlie is doing a little better. We were able to take him into the big field without him running back to the car. He's been spooked since he heard some fireworks in the distance a month ago. Today he played with no problems!
After the park we just hung out on the deck since it was such a beautiful afternoon.

I was lucky to get these pictures because something is up with my camera! I guess I've worn it out in just under a year! It just won't hold the setting I put it on and reverts to a different one. I missed a couple good shots of Charlie finally getting the frisbee mid-air because the camera wouldn't cooperate!
Ok, gotta get dinner and then we're off to see Chris Isaak! Can't wait! I've always wanted to see him. We almost saw him once when he opened for another act but arrived just as he was singing his last song! :-( That's not gonna happen tonight as we are gettin' there early!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Here's The Big News... Drum Roll Please!

After waiting for 40 years, Howard has finally purchased the "hobby car" of his dreams! Well, not exactly his dreams because he has been coveting a '67 Chevelle for a good long while but they are just too far out of any conceivable price range we have. So I don't want to say Howard is settling, he's just readjusted his dreams. He has been shopping for a Mustang for several months now and finally found this one last week.

It's a 2007 and has had one owner. The poor guy had the car built especially for him and then, as is the sad case with many workers here in Michigan, he was laid off from work. He really hated to part with it and did in fact change his mind once. Howard's patience persevered and he finally talked him into selling last week. We went today to complete the paper work and pick up the car. Howard hasn't stopped smiling since!! I'm happy for him. He deserves it. He's worked hard for many years to support his family and never really asked for anything for himself. It's his turn. He's telling himself (and me) it's an investment!! Riiiiiight!! I say, let's enjoy it!!

At least for another couple months, then it's covered up in the garage until next Spring! Another good reason to move south!

This weekend we were freezing! We were all scratching our heads and asking ourselves where summer had disappeared to! Saturday we went to the picnic and it was basically rained out. I felt so bad for the hostess and host. They had worked so hard and had such nice plans: barbecue, boat rides on the lake, games, etc. Instead we visited inside their basement family room and ate our hot dogs in there. It stopped raining just as everyone was leaving.

Sunday was another chilly day! It rained off and on all day again. We were going to the Los Lonely Boys concert at 8:00 and thankfully the rain stopped by then. I can't remember the last time I actually wore long jeans during the summer! Not only did I wear jeans, I wore a sweatshirt too! The concert was great! The opening act was Los Lobos which I didn't really know that much about. I was mainly going to see Los Lonely Boys.

The crowd really got into Los Lobos though and I think about 1/3 of the people left when they finished performing. That afforded us some better seats as we were able to move up about 10 rows. It was a late night though as the concert didn't end until 11:00 and we didn't get to bed until after midnight!
I will be working 4 days this week at school for the summer reading program. It's only 1/2 day so it shouldn't be too bad. It's just having to get up so early and get going again. I guess it will get me ready for the start of school in a few short weeks! Summer is almost over!
Scott is up north this week with his friends. His friend Brian's family has a lake house and Brian's family invites him up every summer. He says it's his favorite place to spend his vacation. It's so quite around here.

Zoe's just been chillin'. The weather didn't cooperate this past weekend for any "park time" but we went out for a little while today for some Frisbee fun.

Charlie says HI Andy! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

It's going to be a beautiful week here in Michigan. Temps will be in the high 70's!!! Nice!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's Been A Busy Week...

It's been a busy week and I haven't even reported all the news from last week! While I was up north last week, Friday night specifically, Amber called to give me good news. She had just received her second (or is it third) promotion at AOL and she's only been there 1-1/2 years! She is now an Executive Producer! Great job Amber!! I know you work hard and I can always count on you for all the up-to-date news about what's going on in the world.
I was so busy running around and cleaning house on Monday that I totally forgot to go buy my special little guy a birthday present for his big day on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Charlie turned 1 year old on Tuesday!! This is how he spent his day.

But don't worry, I'll make it up to him. The next time I get a minute I'll take him shopping at his favorite pet store and let him pick out his own gift! Promise!!

So, on Tuesday we had company. Andy's parents, Bob and Kathy, came over and we all attended a Sheryl Crow concert. Thanks to a connection I can't talk about on here, we were able to actually MEET Sheryl Crow and spend some time with her. She is such a nice person, so down to earth and friendly. We also spent time with Bob and Kathy's special connection which was really nice too! Thanks again Bob, Kathy and SC (special connection)!! We had a great time meeting Sheryl and also attending the concert.

We tried to snap a couple pictures but since cameras aren't really allowed Howard was trying to sneak a couple pics but the really annoying "flashlight guy" kept coming over and saying "sir, no pictures", or something to that effect! It was a bit loud and I'm not sure exactly what he was saying but he did look annoyed! Bob and Kathy stayed with us for the night and then left the next morning. We had a really nice time and got to catch up which we hadn't been able to do since "the wedding" last fall.
Around the house things are really growing well. Things look lush and green! The tomatoes are doing well and I discovered this cucumber yesterday morning.

Last week they were just little things the size of my pinkie finger and then yesterday it was full size! The tomatoes I have planted in pots are getting so top heavy that every time there's a breeze the pots tip over!
These next few days are doing to be busy too. We have a Bar-B-Q to go to on Saturday and then another concert on Sunday and then something really big next week but you'll have to wait until then to find out what it is! But trust me, it's BIG!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fun Weekend With The Girls...

What a great weekend! We all arrived "up north" Friday evening in time for snacks and a refreshing beverage called "Summertime" that consisted of lime aide, vodka and beer. Sounds awful but tasted yummy!!

We sat and talked and watched the stars until midnight! Saturday morning we took our time getting going. I made Dutch Babies while some of the girls took a 2 hour walk! After breakfast we headed up to Sleeping Bear Dunes. I had requested a trip up there since I had never seen the Dunes before. Thankfully everyone was very accommodating and agreed it would be a good trip. We drove into the State Park and along a road with scenic overlooks along the way. We had a spectacular view of Glen Lake.

We also posed for a picture taken by a fellow tourist. His English was rough but he did a great job taking the picture!

Then we got up to the top of the Dunes. The girls were trying to talk me into going down this dune to the water

but after reading this warning I decided it probably wasn't a good idea. I wasn't sure if the paramedics could reach me down there!

From there we went into Glen Arbor for lunch. Then it was on to Leland for some shopping.

While we were going in and out of stores one of the girls discovered a Shoreline Cruise and we decided that sounded like fun.

Finally around 9:00 we decided we better head home. We spent the rest of the evening on the screened porch talking. We can sure do a lot of that. It takes time to catch up on what everyone has been up to.

View from the deck! How would you like to wake up to this every morning? At least summer mornings.

Sunday morning we packed up, changed Pam's sheets, cleaned up after ourselves and hit the road. Thankfully traffic was light and we got home around 6:30.

Great weekend!