Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to the H-Man

Today is Howard's birthday. Sadly for him it was just another day at the office. He's busy schmoozing with the new higher-ups who have come into town to check out the company they just invested in.

He didn't even come home from work until almost 8:00. I had asked this morning what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he said macaroni and cheese or chicken enchiladas or this chicken, broccoli, cheese ring I make, he couldn't decide so just "surprise" him. One thing I knew I would make was his favorite Pineapple Upside-Down cake. I finally decided to make both the chicken-broccoli thing and the macaroni and cheese. He talked to Amber and Tyler today who both sent birthday wishes. During dinner he opened his cards and his one little gift. I bought him a card game called Five Crowns that Andy introduced us to when he and Amber visited last. Now they won't have to bring the game next time they come, we'll already have it! That was it for his birthday. Now he's sitting in his recliner working away on his lap top while we watch the Tigers kick some Texas butt! Not the perfect birthday, I'm sure, but not too bad either. Happy Birthday H-Man!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Can Finally Breathe...

We had quite the weekend! I couldn't really write about it though because Amber and Andy were out of the country and I couldn't call them and this wasn't the type of thing I wanted them to read in an e-mail or on this blog. But before I even start, let me say that everything is fine now, emergency and worry over. This had always been my biggest worry with Tyler being 6,000 miles away from home.

It all started at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning when the phone rang. As we all know, calls in the middle of the night are rarely good news. It was Tyler and the first words out of my mouth were "what's wrong?" He stated that he had passed a lot of blood in his stool and wondered if he should go to the emergency room! Howard and I answered with a strong "Yes, definitely get to the emergency room" and he answered that he better get going as he was getting light headed!

To say it was difficult to get back to sleep is an extreme understatement. I think it was about 4:30 by the time I got back to sleep. Then we had to get up early to take the Mustang into a paint shop for a gloss coat, apparently some kind of required maintenance. With the time difference and all it wasn't until Saturday afternoon (which was Saturday morning in Hawaii) before we found out that the first test they performed, some kind of scope down the nose and into the stomach was inconclusive. All they really saw was possibly some kind of an ulcer so they decided a colonoscopy would be necessary. Because some prep was necessary he had to wait until Sunday morning (Sunday afternoon here) to have that test. The initial results of that weren't good. They said there was some kind of vascular mass in or on his cecum which is apparently at the top of the intestines. At this point they didn't know what kind of mass it was but said a CAT scan would be necessary and a surgeon would need to be called. The surgeon didn't come in until Monday morning around 11:00ish (which was 5:00 p.m. our time) to tell him the results of the CAT scan but thank goodness the news was good, really good. I was just at the point of making my airline reservations so I could hop on a plane to help take care of him post-op. The "mass" was apparently an infection of the cecum and the blood must have come from something scraping the infected and inflamed cecum when it was passing through the intestines. They just wanted him to eat lunch and make sure there were no problems after that and then they could release him. He really wanted to be released as he had class that night and really couldn't miss it. He ended up being released around 2:30 (Hawaii time) and called us from school during a break. He seems to be feeling ok, has to take an antibiotic and then return for another CAT scan in a week to make sure the inflammation and swelling of the cecum has gone down.

So, while everything is fine now it was quite scary all weekend and Monday as well, just not knowing what exactly was wrong and what would happen next. He really didn't get any kind of explanation about what could have caused it. We are just hoping and praying that this emergency is over and he has no further problems. He's taking the antibiotics now so they should do the job.

Now everything seems fine in the world. Amber and Andy landed safely today, back from a wonderful vacation. Tyler is on the mend and taking good care of himself.

So now we can breathe, just breathe.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lavender Festival and first harvest

Saturday morning Cheryl, Brenda and I were off to the Lavender Festival. We went last year too but they had a new location this year. They had apparently outgrown their old place and this place was bigger. Lots of craft booths, many involving lavender in some form or another. The new location was a former farm that's now used by the township for different festivals. They had a small petting zoo with chickens, rabbits, a little donkey and other small animals. The only thing they didn't have this year that last year's location had was a big lavender garden. They just planted it this year at this new location so maybe by next year they'll have a nice lavender garden.

These cute Alpacas made a repeat appearance.

They were also offering wagon rides but I just wanted to take pictures of the beautiful horse!

I bought another couple lavender plants and a tube of lavender buds. We had a nice time and left just in time because the skies were getting black and it started raining just as we were driving away!

Sunday Howard and I headed out to the garden. I hadn't been in a few days and knew it would be needing some water.

This is what we found! Another head of broccoli will be ready in a few days and the other two plants also have heads starting.

The snow peas are doing great. I was afraid they wouldn't do well this late in the year but since it's been cooler than usual they are doing great!

And then there's this! We have enough green beans and snow peas to have with dinner one night soon. And as an added bonus while we were out there another gardener was kind enough to share her harvest of basil, radishes and parsley. We had the radishes and that first broccoli harvest in our salad tonight.

The garden is really looking good but things are sure packed in there. The zucchini are finally starting to blossom and there are plenty of green tomatoes. The corn is up to my waist now and one of the pepper bushes has a pepper about the size of a ping pong ball.

One more week of summer school! Yea!! It feels like I've been working at it longer than 4 weeks and I'm glad it's almost over. I have things to do, places to go, people to see!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Update...

This update is on the garden though! I went out there last night and things are growing like crazy. We hadn't had rain in about 4 days so I figured it would be pretty dry.

Now that everything is getting bigger it's really looking packed in there.

Here's the broccoli that I harvested last night. It's not too full but it looks edible.

So far this one broccoli is the only thing really growing. I have seen some tomatoes coming on, some green beans and the zucchini is finally getting some flowers on it and one little green pepper is starting. It's been an unseasonably cool summer and I guess we are gonna need some serious heat before things really start growing. The community garden looks really good too. The rows are 200 feet long and the deer fence seems to be working. I did have to chase one little bunny out of there last night though and then the mosquitos finally chased me out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here I thought there were no pictures of the rocker during it's make over but when I turned the camera on today, look what I found!



And you'll have to wait for after as the plan is to finish painting it and then ship it to Amber and Andy for assembly later.

So smart of H to document the process!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rock On

Almost 30 years ago my dear SIL Sharon bought me this bentwood rocker as a shower gift when I was expecting Amber. It wasn't on my wish list but I have to say it's probably one of only a few things I have left from that time, when Amber was a baby.

Here's Sharon rocking Amber soon after we brought her home from the hospital. She is such a proud Auntie.

In this one I'm trying to persuade Amber that a nap would be a good idea. Before every nap or bedtime I would have to rock her in this chair until she was sleepy enough to go in her crib.

I used this chair 5 years later when Tyler came along though he didn't enjoy rocking quite as much. Then 3 years later when Scott was born it was put to use again. I even used it to rock children I babysat over the years. I'd say for a gift I didn't even know I needed I've gotten good use out of it.

Right now it's out in the garage getting a "face lift". It's in pieces and various stages of being painted. Howard worked on it all weekend and will have it looking better than new in a few weeks. It's being painted shiny black to match a new nursery.

Good thing she got some practice back in the early days!

Because she's gonna need it in about 6 months time.

I can't decide which is more exciting. Amber and Andy becoming parents or Howard and me becoming Grandparents! Whichever, it's all exciting. And this little darling will enjoy rocking in this chair as much as her/his mother did.

And I'll enjoy the rocking too!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beautiful Holiday Weekend

Yes, it was gorgeous. Each new day becoming more beautiful than the next and it's not over yet. We were all at home Friday just hanging around the house. The rain had finally stopped so the guys could mow the lawn!

Saturday was a gorgeous day and we had an invitation to spend it at our friends, the McGinnis'. Cheryl, Judy and I walked over to the craft show first and didn't find much to buy but did manage to run into lots of people we knew and some we hadn't seen in a while.

When we got back to Cheryl's we decided it was hot enough to go in the pool and the pool was perfect.

We enjoyed the afternoon and then grilled hot dogs and burgers and waited for dark when we were able to view the fireworks right from their backyard.

A nice little pit fire kept the chill off and the fireworks were gorgeous.

Mark and Cheryl were generous enough to invite us back on Sunday as that day was predicted to be ever better weather wise. The Hoekstra family came over on that day too so we had quite a crowd.

Scott came over later and brought a friend too.

The pool was absolutely perfect and I think a few people went home with a little sunburn. All in all it was a perfect weekend spent with old friends and enjoying perfect Michigan weather!

Today it was back to work for me and Scott. Howard still had a day off and he had the house to himself (except for his two furry friends) most of the day.

Here's our little hillbilly doggie! You can't see the top row of teeth but she's got two broken off there and then one is completely gone on the bottom.

This afternoon Howard and I went out to the garden. I hadn't been since last Wednesday so I wasn't sure what to expect. We haven't really had any rain since then either but things looked pretty good. It needed to be watered and weeded so we did a little of both. The corn is knee high so I guess it's right on target. I forgot the camera so no pictures this week. It's grown quite a bit since the last picture though.
The birds have been in the yard like crazy, lots of babies too. The hummers are coming in when the feeder is full. It's not easy to keep it full though because the racoons have decided they like to take a sip in the evening before bedtime. If I don't get the feeder down before dark they are scrambling up there draining the thing! And they are leaving behind their grubby, muddy little footprints all over my nice, clean windows.