Monday, May 18, 2009

Down home in Michigan

Joycie and Mike made Mexican food Saturday evening and had friends over. Allison's sweetheart, Christopher, is visiting her from Italy, where he's stationed in the Navy. I've been getting to know him through his VLog, and it was super nice to meet him in person. What I liked most about Christopher was how happy Allison looked. Their story is very romantic.

Kara has returned from India, where she spent her last semester. And got her nose pierced...

I love it. When you have an experience like that, you should come home changed. Internally and externally. The little diamond looks perfect on her.

Kev and I left the youngins on their own for dinner, and we went out... for Mexican food in Mt. Pleasant. Silly us. Joyce & Mike's was better (we had it Sunday). When we got home, they were all set up out at a campfire by the pond.

It was a pretty cold evening and kind of windy, so not the best evening for a campfire. Your front gets warm, but your back freezes, and the smoke goes all around.

But I managed to get a happy photo of Christopher and Allison:

And of Mike and Joycie:

Joycie, Allison and Kara have been friends since they were little kids in elementary school. So many years, so many changes...

Friday, May 15, 2009


It has been a long week, and I'm tired. Sam is gone for the evening, as usual. Our little social butterfly is rarely home on Friday evenings, and he has made plans for the weekend. Tonight he's at the Loons game with friends and staying overnight with his best bud, Nate. Joyce and Mike are both done with their respective college 2nd semesters, and they've been working full-time each day this week. They're not home yet because they're getting groceries for us on their way home. Words cannot express how much I love and appreciate those 2 youngins.

It's a beautiful evening, and Kev started mowing the lawn about an hour or so ago. Since he has made such an enormous lawn for us, it takes him quite some time to mow. I've been sitting at my computer trying to get up the energy to do something, like write a blog post... but instead I was playing Hoyle chess. Kev decided I was looking far too serious, so next time he drove by the window I'm facing, he waved at me in a very energetic way... and he was buck naked. Yes! I know! How cool is that?!! But alas, my new cell phone failed me. The photo save and erase buttons are on opposite sides from my old cell phone... so I deleted 3 great pics instead of saving them. *sigh* But oh my heck, I laughed. My hubby is crazy. Very cute also.

Mother's Day was awesome. Sammy made pancakes for breakfast. Extra wonderful. Extra wonderful with my brother, Jim's, maple syrup, too. Yum. My wonderful kiddos, and Kev, too, gave me a Zune. 4 gig! I was so excited and surprised. I want to download books. And use it for music from Joycie, too. But, I have been unable to download the software. My high speed dish Internet access just isn't high speed enough, I guess... it keeps timing out. I had to call them and ask for a CD, which they are mailing, but it is the older version software, so after I install it, I will have to download the upgrade. Fingers crossed. It's frustrating. I wanna use it so badly!!! And I can't yet. Grrr... And it is such a pretty, pretty pink! With a pretty white and pink case!

My sister, Kathy, called me yesterday morning on her way to work. We both drive M-20 and there has been construction along a part of it recently. Yesterday morning was windy. One of those huge black and white signs that reads, "Injure or Kill a Worker..." blew over right in front of her. Right. In. Front. Of. Her. Thankfully no one was in the left lane, and she didn't hit anyone as she swerved to avoid the attacking sign. Which would have otherwise surely injured or killed a worker on her way to work. Irony on a windy morning. Gotta love it.

Both Mike and Joycie have done very well on their grades this past semester. I think they feel like college is crawling by, but I cannot believe this college year is over. I'm so very proud of the both of them. They are also both doing great at their jobs; both working for the same start-up company. That's for another blog post. But again, I'm so proud of them.

I'm also proud of my niece, Michelle, who has graduated from college (look for pics later), and I'm so proud of her brother, my nephew, Michael, who has also completed his first year of college. Michael with a straight 4.0 GPA. My nephew is brilliant.

Joycie's good friend, Allison, got a nice surprise this week. Her sweetheart who is in the Navy and stationed in Italy came to see her here in Michigan. We get to meet him tomorrow evening, and I'm very much looking forward to that. Also to Joycie's homemade Mexican food. The girl can crank out the tortillas so wonderfully. Mike's momma, Izzy, has taught her well.

And can we all get a HALLELUJAH! that "Coach" is finally, finally voted off. He has been barf material all the way. When he told his "Assistant Coach" that "they" call me the dragon slayer, I actually did feel a bit of vomit in my throat. They didn't call him that, HE called himself that. Ugh. Gag. And did anyone else find it strange that everyone else had a family member visit, but not him? We have been muting or fast forwarding through the Survivor episodes now whenever we see his mouth moving. He would have been the ideal person to take to the final 2, though... who on the jury would give that conceited jackass a million bucks? No one. Stephen is one smart dude. I hope he wins the million just for getting Coach out. Though JT is awfully adorable...

And speaking of adorable... this week's Two and Half Men was awesome. I love the character, "Berta" (Conchata Ferrell, who plays the part perfectly!)... my favorite quotes from that episode: 1) Jimminy, I'm drunk, and 2) He digs the trench and you lay the pipe. Classic.

Yet more TV! I really enjoy the show The Big Bang Theory. The character Sheldon and his "classic pranks" is so funny. Bazinga! This recent episode where Wolowitz pretends to shoot a crossbow at Sheldon, with the added gesture of throwing the weapon down when he's done shooting it was awesome. And now we are saying Bazinga! around this house.

I used to cook a lot. I used to be known as a really good cook. But I haven't been cooking hardly at all in the past, oh... 18 or 20 months. It's another thing I keep hoping will return to "normal" one of these days. Meantime, I am recording a heck of a lot of cooking shows. My favorites are Paula Deen, Ina Garten, Giada and Tyler, and of course, Rachel, too... I have so many different episodes recorded on our DVR, and I rename them all just "Food" so they are grouped together. When I am feeling particularly tired out and yet still anxious (have that going on a LOT lately... work pressures, so much work backlog from last year... ugh), I love to watch Paula cook. Her Southern drawl is so soothing, y'all. And her food looks so good. I just wanna hug her. And then eat everything she's cooked up in her gorgeous kitchen. I think Paula Deen is probably the TV cook I most admire... her book, "It Ain't All About the Cookin'" is on my want-to-read list. I love watching the Barefoot Contessa episodes, too, also soothing. Her home is lovely. But it's all a little too... I don't know... too too... y'know?. Kevin likes it when I'm watching any Everyday Italian episode, and he'll actually watch them with me. I'm sure it has nothing to do with how gorgeous Giada is... (Kev calls her the little midget with the big knockers and the low-cut shirts.)

Wow. I watch a lot of TV. And right now, the Tigers are on it. See ya!

Friday, May 08, 2009

My guitar girl

Joyce did a ton of research, got a great deal, including a student discount, and bought herself a new iMac. It's gorgeous...

And as you can see, she's super happy about it. She has had it a little over a week now, and unfortunately, she already had some problems with it. But she was on the phone with the iMac folks and it seems to be all ok now.

The machine is amazing. The screen is huge, as you can see in the photo, and so crisp and clear. The hard drive is the monitor, no other piece. The CD/DVD drive is just an opening on the side. The keyboard is super lightweight and very thin. There is even a USB port on the side of the keyboard, which is handy for the iPod, etc.

Since it's a Mac, it came loaded with all kinds of stuff, including iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. Oh. My. Heck. I love that she has GarageBand. Yesterday evening, she played 3 songs for me that she's created using GarageBand... Joyce singing and playing her Martin. I loved it! She's making a bunch of tracks for a CD for me. I can't wait to get the CD. Joyce used to never like to sing for me while she played her guitar, but like her guitar playing skills, her singing shines. Her songs are beautiful. I will see if I can talk her into letting me post one of her songs on my blog. I say "her songs" but they are covers, not songs she's written herself. Hey, now there's an idea...

Joyce did say, though, that while she was using GarageBand yesterday, it unexpectedly quit. So maybe all the little bugs aren't out of her new iMac yet. Which really sucks, considering it's brand spanking new. She bought the support/extended warranty thing, though, so she's covered. I told her it was "the nasty virus"... We've been discussing how Macs get very few infections, because the idiots of the world write those things for Windows, not Macs.

When she ordered it, she was like a little kid at Christmas, constantly checking the package tracking and telling me the status updates. It's left California! It's in Nevada! She kept asking me when I thought it would arrive. It was fun watching her excited anticipation and then her glee when it did finally arrive.

After she told me it was in Nevada, I sent her this text message:

"Your mac decided to make a quick stop in vegas. The good news is it won big time at black jack. The bad news is it blew it all on prostitutes and now it has a nasty virus."

I didn't hear back from her for a while. This was the Tuesday evening before last. Joyce had gotten home from class and made herself some bacon and eggs for dinner. Kev, who had forgotten to get milk on the way home, and really, really ticked off Joycie in the process, was outside with Sammy shooting baskets. They both came inside about 7:30pm, and by this time Joyce was up in her room studying (exam week this week for her), and I was laying bed enjoying the cool breeze coming in my bedroom window and the beautiful view of the pond and the relief on my neck from my lovely, lovely pillow (been a rough couple of weeks lately with neck pain, ever since N.C., one of our cats, tripped me up on the porch steps).

So the 2 sweaty boys decided to come in the bedroom and visited with me. Kev came in first and laid down with me and was massaging my neck, then Sammy came in and laid down in front me so I could hug his sweaty self. It was actually very nice... just what I needed to feel better.

Kev, Sammy and I were talking when my phone beeped a new text message... Joycie's reply. So the 3 of us started replying back, with Sammy doing the typing (man! that boy can text so dang fast)... here is that goofy text conversation... and what's funny is that Joycie didn't realize it was the 3 of us yanking her chain... We 3 found it hilariously entertaining.

Joycie: LOL don’t talk about my mac that way. Its only rumors.

Us: Bullshit. I saw the youtube video.
      [Sammy enjoyed typing "bullshit"... boys!]

J: Whatev

Us: Youre the one that will be touching it

J: Yeah and it will feel amazing. I will just wrap it in saran wrap.

Us: Your sex life is your business
      [Again, Sammy cracked up at "sex life"...
      14-year-old boys!]

J: Yes it is

Us: But I think you should tell mike, he has the right to know to protect himself from possible infection

J: Don’t worry I will let him know my mac is a whore

Us: Thats coz all macs are whores

J: Again... whatev. It dont matter none.
      [Joyce did that one just to annoy me;
      she knows I can't stand poor grammar.]

Us: Spoken with the grammar of a true mac user.

J: ...grrr

Us: What’s the difference between a pc and a mac?
      [Sammy asked me what the answer was...
      I told him it depended on what Joycie said back.]

J: What?...

Us: Exactly!
      [Sammy said, "I don't get it"...
      I said, "Exactly!"
      Sammy said, "I still don't get it."]

J: Dont get it.

Us: You can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish.
      [This was Kev's contribution, and Sammy
      was laughing so hard he could hardly type.]

J: I’m done trying to understand you.

Us: It is what it is.

no answer...

Us: Dad wants to know if you got any milk on the way home?
      [Major chain yanking here!]

J: No, tell him that its his job and he should know these things.

Us: Mmm... bacon smells good

J: It was good

Us: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

no answer...

Us: You should have bribed him with bacon

J: Oh well, sucks for him I guess

And that was it. It was good for a laugh, and it is making me smile just typing this up. But maybe it was one of those times where ya hadta be there...

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I've been watching the ditch down our dirt road, and with all the April rain, and rain in May, too, it has been rising and falling daily. I am somehow entranced by the streams of water coming out of the woods (more on that later...), and when I'm on my way home, I've been driving past our driveway on these sunny days to check out further on down the ditch.

Saturday, I saw this heron and managed to get quite close to it before it spread its huge wings out and flapped away...

Then I watched a number of small, yellow birds flying around and chasing each other, all the while singing like crazy. I think they are Orchard Orioles, but I'm not completely sure. I haven't seen this bird before... they were lovely, they sounded lovely and their antics were very entertaining. When a couple of them would decide to chase each other, they would really get some speed going. I was sitting in my car, with the engine off & window down, and they'd ZOOM! by. One got a little close, and startled me... thought it was going to zoom into my car, or right into my head... Pretty, aren't they...

While I was watching the streams of water and the birds, I could hear a chainsaw going, so I made my way down the road. Kev was out on the northwest corner of our property cutting up a downed tree. The man loves to cut wood...

And in the woods, there were violets everywhere...

It was a beautiful day. Love this time of year.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Phone pics from the kids

Joycie took this photo with her phone recently. We already knew how Reilly spends his day... this just proves it. Sprawled out on Sam's queen-sized bed in the sun...

Reilly isn't always spread out like that; he spends a lot of time laying on the bed so he can look out Sam's bedroom windows down the driveway. Lovely way to spend a day.

I'm jealous.

Sammy took this photo with his phone right before we left the house one morning on the way to school/work. He didn't tell me about it or show it to me on his phone; he emailed it to me at work, and it was a pretty surprise...

I love watching the sunrise on the pond. This pic is now my laptop desktop background.