Sunday, May 24, 2009

memorial day weekend...

Detroit Tuned Spring Clean-up Party.

Mom's in the hospital. Pneumonia.

Meet with the architect and contractor for garage.

Clothes shop for trip to France.

Cate's 16th birthday party.

Friday, May 22, 2009

what the...???

The day after we placed the rocks around the mailboxes, I guess our neighbor thought that his mailbox needed a bit of sprucing up so he painted it. It's silver.

Jerome says the rain will eventually remove the paint from the curb, stones and plants.

We like this neighbor so we're not going to b!tch, but MAN!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

wisdom...

My poor baby got his wisdom teeth pulled out today. Army dentists...

Look, he's still in his uniform.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

sticks and stones...

Jerome and I worked on some landscaping over the weekend.

This was not on our honey-do list. Actually, most of the things we decide to work on are not on the honey-do list. It’s frustrating only when it’s time to cross something off the list and we are still bombarded with a huge list. What the heck have we been doing? It seems we are always doing something, but with no gratifying feeling of crossing it off a list.

Anyway, he told me to take some pictures and post them on the blog. He seems pretty proud of it and I’m also glad we did it.

So, we harvested a bunch of softball sized stones from the neighbors’ yard…

Now, before you get all judgmental on us, realize that no one has ever lived in the house since it was built in 2005. The “lawn”, if that’s what you want to call it, cannot be mowed with all these rocks and broken concrete all over the yard. We are simply clearing it so that we can mow the weeds…I mean grass when it starts to overgrow.

So, we then took the stones, along with stones that were in our own backyard and made a border around the pine tree in the front. No grass grows under the pine tree other than a patch here or there. We spray painted a line then “edged” it and dug a berm. We removed the patches of grass and then laid the stones. Looks good.






So then we decided that we would do something similar around the mailboxes. Looks good.
So then we looked at another part of the landscaping that needed a border of sorts. This will make it much easier to cut the grass in these areas…at least that’s the thinking behind the border.

Everything looks good.

Prior to doing the stones around the mailbox we talked about the huge boulder that was placed in the neighbors’ yard by; we’re sure, the previous owners of our house. Terry had brought in a bunch of huge boulders to make the boulder garden in the backyard…we’re sure that this boulder that rests just above our property line on the hill of the “new” house was rightfully ours…so, we “helped” it roll down the hill onto the corner of our property. Looks good.

some dilbert...

You will have to click on the comic to be able to see the whole thing.

I don't usually add comics to my blog, but my Program Manager brought this one to our attention...and it sort of goes along the same lines as my profile description.

Dilbert.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

our plans were approved...

Had a meeting with the Historic District Committee (HDC) tonight to let them know what our plans are for the garage.

Before we arrived, they had already made their decision - we're approved!

We didn't even have to show them the pictures that I took today to "convince" them that a demo of the garage is needed.

No need to be nervous, they seemed very happy with the design.

Hope to hear back from our contractors with their current bids - we asked most of them to go back and detail their first bid so that we could figure out where we could cut costs. Should hear back from them anytime.

Monday, May 11, 2009

mswalk 2009...

I walk for my "Power Partner"; my dad. As you may know, he's had MS all of my life...and I'm pretty old :)

All this time, he has shown grace in adversity. He rarely complains. He is always happy to see you and he has a great attitude.

One of his hobbies is to paint. It's not the easiest thing for him to do, but he really seems to love it and paints every day. We've set him up with a "work station" where he has a table and cabinets to keep his supplies. My brother Ray made him an adjustable work surface that can angle up. He also made him "feet" for his table that allows it to raise up a few inches.

Jerome and I have been walking in this event since 2003 and because of a bunch of very generous people have raised nearly $9000 over those years. We set our goal low and usually far surpass it.

This year the donations were coming in very slowly. I really thought we would barely reach our goal of $600.

The economy is the worst that it’s been since I’ve been around. A lot of people I know are laid off. My company laid off over 10% of its workforce a little over a month ago. Chrysler just filed bankruptcy.

My mother offered up some of my dad’s paintings to “sweeten” the deal. She wanted me to "auction" them off, but I found that not too many people were all that interested in my dad's paintings, so we are just giving them to the highest bidder who indicated which one they would like (the winter scene with the church is still available...).
Much to our surprise, we’ve surpassed our goal and might end up being a top fundraiser for this year as well. I’m amazed. The deadline for donations is June 16, so there is still time if you’re interested in donating to the MS Walk. Click on "Donate to TheMoos".

This past Sunday was the walk. When we left our house in Romeo, it was cloudy and there were forecasts of rain all over Michigan. We drove to Rory and Heathers who live in Waterford. It started raining pretty hard. By the time we got to Ann Arbor, the clouds had blown away and the weather was really quite nice and sunny.

We did our 5k with our team members: me and Jerome, Paul and Noah (no Takki this year) and Rory, Heather and Hudson. Our team is always small, but I think that makes it easier to have conversations with everyone.

Since Paul lives in Ann Arbor, we took a little side trip down his street to say hi to Tami, but she wasn’t there. And Heathers’ sister April lives in Ann Arbor so we took another little side trip to see their house – April and Garth were not there.

When we arrived back at the school, we were served limey nacho chips and Oreo cookies. It’s evident that the economy has made them cut back on some of the extras. No pizza this year…oh well.

So far, we’ve raised $1275.00; with more coming in every day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

craigslist...

We've been doing a lot of stuff on Craigslist this year. We started by selling a couple of Realtor lock boxes for my mother and from then on, we were hooked.

To date we've sold 27 items at $530; receiving at the least $5 and at the most $150. Categories ranging from computer/electronics to home improvement/garden items.

The one item that makes Jerome say that I could sell anything were the cinder blocks that were behind the garage. These were here when we purchased the house and I was able to unload 38 1/2 size blocks for $12. Pretty good for "junk" collecting dirt in the backyard.

I sold a chip dip dish to a model/body builder who is pretty "famous" in her circle and on the internet. The guys at work were tripping all over themselves to see her when she came to pick it up. To their dismay, she was not all dolled up at that time.

Needless to say, we are finding this easier than having a garage sale and once you've settled on a price, there is not more haggling. For the most part we've gotten what we've asked for.

However, there needs to be some sort of class on Craigslist etiquette.

Here is an example of bad Craigslist email etiquette:

"i would like to buy this"

That's it,...that was the whole email; 6 monosyllabic words. People seem to lose their ability to communicate nicely when trying to inquire about an item. They nearly turn into neanderthals.

Also, I've noticed that woman are much worse than men when it comes to making the commitment to finally purchase the item. Yeah, they're all "I really want it", "when and where can I meet you"....but then when it's crunch-time it's "I can't make it", "try to sell it to someone else" - IF they get back with you at all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day...


First time EVER! Justin bought me a Mother's Day gift all on his own. I received these on Wednesday and they are beautiful!!! I'm not sure what the Army is teaching him, but I think I like it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

MOTD 2009...

I don’t know if I was just too tired of driving (having just returned from South Carolina just 4 days prior and New England two weeks before that) or if it was because the weather kinda sucked, but the MINI’s on the Dragon was not what I thought it would be.

I’m not saying it wasn’t fun, but I guess it was quieter than I expected. Jerome really liked it and wants to return next year.

I didn’t even realize that we had driven “The Dragon” on our way into Fontana Village.
The Dragon is located in Tennessee and North Carolina and is an absolutely beautiful area. The Smokies. The clouds come out of the mountains like smoke – gorgeous!

Fontana Village is great and it seemed like it was a really “MINI” village. Every cabin had a MINI or two. Very cute.

We walked around and looked at the new pool with a lazy river running through it. The water was FREEZING!!! Didn’t completely go in.

There was a MINI car show. That was the only time that the sun shined…and we managed to get sunburned in that short period of time.

We met up with a bunch of our MMMC peeps and had dinner at the cabins twice over the weekend.

We helped out at the Brew Swap and Drive-In by selling popcorn and cookies for charity. The charity was the Graham County Food Bank.

On Saturday I woke up with a horrible pain in my side. I have felt this pain in the past; intestinal blockage. I had to spend the rest of the day in bed. Jerome went out to the caves with a group of our friends from MMMC.

Later we went to the Farewell Dinner and then back to Joan’s cabin to visit some more.

Everyone seemed to hit the hay pretty early and we left the next day…once again, driving on ‘The Dragon” on the way out.

One thing that we’ve learned since we’ve been back is that they are pretty serious about crossing the double yellow line…almost freakishly serious.