Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a year...

I've made it! 1 year today!  I'm happy about that.  This part-time temporary position has lasted me longer than I thought {knock, knock...oh that's not wood...}.

It helped out a lot to conduct that little experiment on positive thinking back in February.  It "forced" me to think about all the good things that this job entailed.  I learned to appreciate it more.  I may still have my complaints, but who doesn't, right?

I still love, Love, LOVE that it's part-time.  Gives me much more time for myself and errands, etc.  Really not sure how much longer my boss is going to allow me to only work 3 days a week...he "threatens" to make me full-time every now and then, but I'm not sure they can afford all those added benefits for an additional employee - however, it does seem like things in the auto industry are starting to recover.  More of a possibility he will ask me to work 4 days.

The other day a recruiter called me on my cell and I answered it in front of my boss...not unusual since we share a cube.  I was awkward in my responses to her and he knew instantly that it was a recruiter on the other end of the line.  When the call ended, he had no issue asking all about it.  He was wondering if I was "looking" for full-time.  I told him that I think I have it pretty good here and that if full-time is something that is required, I'm willing to do it...but I do like my part-time-ness...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

fall color and winery tour...

For the past 4 years, the third week of September was dedicated to the Michigan MINI Cooper Club's only charity event; The Great Lakes Crossing.  The past three years, Jerome and I have been involved with the planning committee.

Typically the charity is Make-A-Wish, but last year we tried to accommodate some others in the club and we chose 2 local charities; one in West Michigan and one in Eastern Michigan.  This did not go over very well with some others in the club.  In order to appease them, we added Make-A-Wish to the list...but it did not satisfy them.  So much so that Jerome and I decided that we would no longer be a part of the planning committee for this charity event in the future...if anything.  Yes, it got THAT bad.

There was only one more Great Lake to "do" and that was Lake Ontario.  We gave over everything to a Canuck that is a part of our Michigan club.  However we knew just how much time and effort this event takes up and we were not very confident that our brother to the North would be able to handle it, especially with what little "committee" that he had (one other guy). As it turns out, he let his life get in the way of the event and thus, this year there was no Great Lakes Crossing.

Predicting that this event was going along the wayside, a couple of couples in the club decided that they would plan a different event; The M-22 Fall Color and Winery Tour; sans charity.  A bunch of people became very interested very quickly in this trip.  As did we.

So last weekend was the Winery Trip and it went very well.  Any time there are a bunch of MINIs caravaning down the highway with walkie-talkies, is a good time.  There were a total of 20 MINIs and 40 people.

The weather was gorgeous; couldn't have asked for any better - the trees were changing colors - the temperature was pleasant.

 {Look how the water changes color as it gets deeper}
{Stopped at the Grocer's Daughter Chocolates...}
{A beautiful barn along the way...}
 {Lil' Bo's in Traverse City - if you click on this pic, you will see that they had a sign welcoming our group...}
We celebrated Jbo's (Jerome's) 35th birthday while we were on the trip...Larry and Kris informed the staff and they brought out this wonderful cake...that Jerome had to cut into 40 pieces - Happy Birthday Hun! :D...
{We stopped at Meijer and found this funny looking.  To us it looked like a dog driving a Durango...}

 Some of the colors...however, others in our group have some really GORGEOUS pics of the fall colors...
{Photo op at the 45th Parallel...}
 Blackstar Farms Winery.  Jerome has never seen the netting over the vineyards before and he's from wine country in Cote d'Or France...
I'm not much of a wine drinker, but it was still a lot of fun.  We visited 5 wineries in the Traverse City area.  I acquired a wine glass from each winery we stopped...
 {The old Asylum...made into a mall.  Really cool place...}
 This was shot on the morning of the 10th...it looks like the edge of the earth...the sky and the water were the same color...
{Martha's Leelanau Table...I HIGHLY recommend this place.  Fantastic breakfast...}
Yum.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

quick trip out east...

Last weekend, we headed east on a mission; to pick up my son's car in New Jersey.

Both of my sisters live out east; one in Sagamore Beach, MA and one in Brooklyn, NY, so while we were on that side of the country, we thought we'd stop in for a bit.

My sister Terry and her husband Bill moved back to the US last year around this time - you may remember from an earlier post that I drove out to Boston to surprise them at the airport.  Since then, they purchased a really nice place a block away from the ocean.  This was our first time visiting this new place.
The evening we arrived after taking a short walk down to the ocean, we ate real live (at first) lobster...that was by our request.  You can't go to New England without having some lobster, can you?
We were only visiting for about 48 hours, and for one full day, my hubby was sick.  He's been working very hard for the last couple of weeks; staying up very late working on a project for work and it finally caught up to him.  So, he was in bed for the entire day on Monday.

Terry and I went to visit Plymouth and the Art Center where she is volunteering her time.  Right now is the biggest event that the Art Center throws; The Plymouth Guild 43rd Annual Juried Art Show.  I got to walk around the Center and vote for which piece would be "Best in Show" and play a little scavenger hunt game where they give you a paper with 20 or so pictures of a portion of different art pieces and you had to find them within the Center and write down the name of the art piece.  I won!  I think everyone wins if they are playing.  I suggested that they should offer 10% off a purchase of an art piece if the scavenger hunt paper is completed and correct.

I really could have used that 10% off coupon because I ended up purchasing one of the 1st Place winners for its category..."Sense of Sight" by Hollianne Wood-Carruthers.  This sculpture is made from old metal negatives (dry plate negatives or printing plates) and the wood from the printing frames.  The metal has been oxidized so each negative has a different color; purple, orange, black, white.  The only thing that I've seen on-line that is close to this sculpture is this.  I am anxiously awaiting my sisters next visit when she will be bringing me my sculpture.

Which brings me to my question of the day...What is the greatest amount of money that you've ever spent for a piece of art?  If you tell me yours, I'll tell you mine :)

I'm pretty lucky - I come from a family of artists, which means I didn't have to pay for any of their pieces...and we mostly have only original art work on our walls.  We have purchased a photograph from a friend - otherwise we have friends that have actually GIVEN us their artwork; even if it's something we're specifically requesting (sort of commissioning without paying).  We have great friends!  Mostly, we spend our money on framing and in some cases, matting.

Also while there, my sister showed me her finger.  Two weeks prior, she had been walking her dogs on the beach and needed to have the one dog retrieve the other and the dogs leash which was wrapped around my sisters ring finger yanked the finger and it was sprained or something.  (There's a longer story about this having to do with my sister not being in her right mind at the time because her daughter who had spent a month and a half in Africa during the summer had just been admitted into the hospital that day with Malaria..etc, but I won't get into all of that).  It was pretty swollen, still.  She could not get her rings off and was worried about going to the hospital.  I told her that all we needed to do was go to the fire station; they have the equipment there to remove rings (I saw it on Design Star a couple of years ago).  So, as she was driving me around her neighborhood, I asked her where the fire station is located.  So we went and the paramedics took care of removing her rings without too much pain.
Anyway, the next day Jerome and I needed to leave Massachusetts for New York City.  About a 4 hour drive.  We would only be in NYC for a few hours before heading to New Jersey.  Enough time to take a gander at my sister Deni's new kitchen that my brother Ray put in last year.  It looked really nice and opened up her apartment quite a bit.  She prepared dinner; pesto ravioli with some ingredients that she grew in her urban garden.

We had plans to head out for a square dancing evening, but since Linda was waiting (in New Jersey), we thought it best to head out.  It's about a 45 minute to an hour drive from the city to where Linda lives in New Jersey.  She is the one that was housing my son's car that he purchased on the internet while he's been in Afghanistan.
We watched the first disk of the birthday project for my dad and played games and then headed to bed.

The next day Jerome and I would spend it entirely in separate cars.  We brought our walkie-talkies so that we could keep up communication with each other.  He drove Justin's car the first half and I drove it the second half.  The car does not have a radio, so you basically listened to rattling noises and a high performance engine...for 6 hours (each).  Luckily the seat was comfortable.

Anyway, it made it home and will have to make it down to North Carolina in November and then it's all his :D

Mission Accomplished - for real!
**I was just informed by a close friend that the above image is disrespectful.  I thought it was funny...but to be more "non-partisan", I am adding another equally disrespectful image below.  I say disrespectful because it didn't happen.

I was really only trying to convey that MY Mission was Accomplished - for real.

And then my husband reminded me that this is my blog and I can put whatever I want in it; whether it offends people or not.  This is why people have blogs...I will try to keep this in mind for future posts.

dad's 80th birthday...

Just this afternoon we finished the final DVD of the 8mm home movies.  We went to Mom & Dad's at around 5:30pm.  Brought some Boston Market for dinner and I made an apple pie this afternoon.

His actual birthday is next week Sunday, but Jerome and I will be on a Wine Tour with our MINI peeps, so we came a weekend early to share some birthday love.  Jerome and my dad share their birth date,...only 45 years difference.

Gave Dad (and Mom) the gift and they both were so happy.  Dad cried (not unusual, if you know my dad)...and my mom nearly cried (VERY unusual, if you know my mom).  So, I would call it a success.  We even got a request to burn one more set for my God Mother; Aunt Pat...which we may do, but at a later date - this was a huge project and we're happy to be done with it.

Here's a little sample of one of the movies.  It's of my sisters at Christmas in 1957...please don't mind the music - this is NOT the music that went into the DVD.  When you put something on YouTube, you usually can't use copyrighted music...so this was one YouTube suggested.

Oh, and the tricky camera work was my father back in the day.