Sunday, August 29, 2010

the place to be...

I was debating on whether I would write this on my blog or not.  But I figured, you don't know who I'm talking about anyway (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) and this would be one of those strange stories that either I or Jerome would tell you when we saw you next, so what the heck.

Last Saturday we had a graduation party to attend in Livonia (Aino-Vil, as my co-worker calls it).  We were there for several hours and on our way home, we stopped by my brothers place in Commerce Township to visit.  We stayed for about 45 minutes and then headed home.

By the time we got home, it was very dark and as we approached the back door, we noticed a note taped on the glass of the storm door.  Jerome tried to read it in the dark and thought it was from an old acquaintance Jean-Marc (the baker).  I snipped at him to wait until we got into the house and turned on the lights to see who it was from (I do not understand his propensity to try to do everything in the dark, when it's so much easier just to turn on a frickin' light!).  Anyhoo...he finally read the note and it was from a girl that used to work with the previous owner at the library.  She also happened to be the ex-girlfriend of Jean-Marc (the baker).  She's come over to the house on a couple of occasions when we had a dinner party, but it has been about 3 or so years since she's been to the house.  The note said she had stopped by and said she liked the porch (above the garage); actually, I think she called it a shed.

Well, we were sorry we had missed her.

The next day I went up to the porch/deck/patio (still not really sure what to call it, so mostly we say "upstairs" - which is also confusing since we have an upstairs in the house) to continue painting the rafters.  That's when I noticed a purse and a scruffy looking rain jacket sitting on the couch.  I thought about the possibility of some teenagers using our deck in the middle of the night.  I walked over to check to see if anything was in the purse and it was empty.  I also came across a pencil sharpener on the table.  It was an odd find, but I quickly realized that these items must be (we'll call her) Lady R's.  So, I went on to Facebook (because I remember seeing her there as one of the previous owners friends) and sent her a message.

Later in the day, we were visited by our across-the-street neighbor, Al.  As he passed me and headed toward the garage to visit with Jerome, he asked if we were out yesterday evening.  I said yes, that we were at a graduation party.  He then told Jerome that we had a visitor that evening.  We said that we knew that Lady R had stopped by because she left a note.

He told us that he noticed her looking in the garage windows and then walking toward the steps that lead to the upper garden.  Then he didn't see her any longer.  He said he got curious and walked across the street (since he didn't see our car either). He found her on the couch on the deck and asked her who she was and if she lived in Romeo. She told him her name and said that she knows Jerome and also that she knows Terry (the previous owner). Al said that when she said she knew Terry, he thought uh-oh, is this a stripper that Terry knew? But soon came to the realization that Lady R was not a stripper...because of the obvious (flat as a pancake, as he put it). Anyway, he let her be and walked back home.

He came back about an hour later, as it was getting dark and wanted to be sure this person was not still there. However, she was - and she was sleeping on the couch. He woke her up and said to her that she seems like a nice girl but since we are not at home and he doesn't know her, he would ask her to leave before he needed to call the police.

He said she got up kinda slowly and finally left. He said that when he first noticed her, she was walking on the next door neighbors front lawn and then turned onto our driveway - she had walked there - and so she walked back (home?).

He jokingly asked if we were running a flop-house.  And as it turned out, we did have an overnight guest the night before.  One of our MINI friends who lives in Canada spent the night after having dinner with us at another MINI friends house.

We sort of had a puzzled feeling the rest of the day.  We hope she was alright because we know that she has some health issues.  That's about when I noticed that in the recycle bin there were a couple of other notes from the same notepad that Lady R left her note to us on.  I read them both; one said to remember to ask Chris out to dinner and the other had three different kinds of medication names, which happened to be seizure medications.

The next day was Monday.  It's my day off and I was doing my morning cleaning.  I was taking a vase of water from an already spent flower outside to throw onto some dehydrated plant when I noticed our "neighborhood watch" Al with his bike and sporting his bike helmet.  He was on the driveway, just parked his bike and was starting to walk toward the steps to go up to the deck!  I surprised him. He said OH! I didn't know you were home, I thought you were at work. There were some awkward pauses and then he said he was going up to the deck to see if I had anymore boarders.

I found this hysterical and I called Jerome once Al left.  Jerome (he's so quick witted) said I should have said to Al that he seems like a nice guy but he should leave before I need to call the police. LOL!

Anyway, we just had a good laugh about that. The deck must be the "place to be".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

what i did last summer...

It's still summer and in fact we still have several weeks of this hot, humid weather - but for some reason, it feels like summer is nearly gone.  But then again, if I really think about it, one year ago today we were getting the walls of our garage poured and that was really the beginning of a long summer project that didn't end until mid-October.
video

We've done a lot of fun stuff so far - and not all just fixing up stuff at the house (which I think will be the death of us). Here's just some of the stuff we've done in the past 6 weeks beyond painting the garage and stripping the windows...

The company I work for has a suite at Comerica Park and every now and then, they put your name in a pool and if you get picked, you get tickets to the Tiger's game for that Friday evening.  You can even specify how many tickets you want...next time I will ask for 4 tickets because it is really cool to watch a game from a suite and we'd like to bring another couple.  The Penske suite is right next to the broadcast booth, so that is kind of cool as well.

There was a huge wind storm on July 11th.  At our other house in Clinton Township, one of the big trees from our neighbors yard came crashing down on to our property.  There's a new neighbor living there now since my old (favorite) neighbor, Dolores passed away.  If she was still living, it would not have been an issue whatsoever - she knew this was her tree and she would have had her sons take care of it right away.  The new neighbor was not sure where our property lines were, so he was thinking (hoping) that the tree belonged to us since it was going to cost hundreds of dollars to get it removed.  I was about to say to him that we'd share the cost, but Jerome stopped me - it's not our tree, it's not our cost, it's not our fault, it has nothing to do with us other than it landed on our yard.  He is right, so I shut up.

We did the Romeo garden tour, which was really nice - always is.  We waited until the afternoon to go - as soon as we got to our first place, the sky opened up and downpoured (the last downpour of the season, so far).  Then it became suffocatingly humid.  But it's still really nice to see how people do up their garden spaces.  It went from one house being so "natural" to another house that was professionally done and everything in between.  There was one that looked like a garden you would pay to see...actually we did pay to see all of them...hummm...well, you know what I mean.

July 18th was the baby shower for my son and his fiance, Sam.  She is due the end of this month.  She is HUGE!!!  I'm not sure how she's going to be able to pass this baby.  Maybe she'll have to have a cesarian.  Anyway, the shower was really nice and she (they) received a lot of great, helpful items.  Justin was not able to make it to the shower because he is still in Afghanistan.  He won't be able to make it for the delivery either.  Very sad really.  He'll come home some time in November and see his baby for the first time.  Voila! Baby! (above are the infant photos of Sam and Justin).
Check out that look she's giving me!

While my big sis was in town (for the shower - which she was unable to make...long story), we took one of my day's off to head to the Ann Arbor Art Fair.  I can't remember the last time I've been there...if ever.  It was a freakishly humid day with strange weather.  We could actually see the rainstorms heading up the street.  By the end we were wet, sweaty, tired and just wanted to be in the A/C...which my car didn't have.  In fact, the MINI kept trying to overheat.  We decided we'd stop and let the car cool down along with the traffic and go watch a movie.  Then afterward we tried to find our way home (without GPS! YIPES!).  Took some extra time, but we finally got home.

The MINI...we have participated in a lot of MINI activities in the past month.  Some MINI related BBQ's at friends houses.
I'm sure you all remember the sky those couple of days.  Strange, almost like there was a forest fire somewhere.  And a huge full moon.  I think everybody and their brother got (and posted on FB) a picture of the sky from that day...

The local MINI dealer has been showing a lot more interest in our club recently and has thrown a couple of really cool parties, where they feed us!  The one in July was called "Dog Days of Summer" where you could bring your doggie with you and they had a fashion show with a winner.  Our MINI club member MaryBeth won - actually her dog Lani won for best costume.

This past weekend was the Woodward Progressive.  We have several club members that live along Woodward and about 3 years ago they decided to get together and do a Progressive to commemorate the Dream Cruise (only a week before the big event so as not to have to drive in all of the cruise traffic).  We visit 4 members houses; appetizers at one, bean dip at another, hot dogs and hamburgers at the third and finally dessert at the last.  It's pretty cool and usually a good turn out.

After the last place, a few of us headed out to Memphis Smoke to watch yet another MINI club member play his harmonica in the band he just joined about a week or so ago; Rev. Robert Sexton and the All Star Blues Review.  They were competing with 3 other bands and won the chance to move on to the next level!

Oh, one thing that I forgot to mention, one of the MINI club members that has his house in the Progressive is the son of one of the guys I used to work with at Chrysler Liberty; Bob Malcolm.  He was at his sons house with his Hot Rod that he has spent years working on.  It's all done now and looks fantastic.  It was nice seeing him again after all these years and we'll make a time to get together with other old Liberty people for lunch sometime very soon.

Oh, and I should not forget that we also had our 7th annual pot luck at our house.  This year we had the most MINI people attend; 28.  But also had a bunch of other friends and colleagues (total of 76 peeps).  It turned out very well - the first year that we had rain - but it was much needed and only lasted an hour at the most.  

We need more rain!  Bring on the rain!!!  We no longer have grass...we have straw.  Watering is one letter away from Wast(e)ing according to Jerome.  He's really not all that bad about the thought of watering, but we just don't do it enough, and we don't have integrated sprinklers, so to drag the hose around is a real drag...literally!